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Discovering 
©Music 


SECOND EDITION 


R. LARRY TODD 
Duke University 


NEW YORK OXFORD 
Oxford University Press 


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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data 

Names: Todd, R. Larry, author. 

Title: Discovering music / R. Larry Todd. 

Description: Second edition. | New York : Oxford University Press, 2020. | Includes index. | Summary: “Discovering Music offers the depth, 
breadth, and context that students need, in a concise format that is visually appealing. Written to inspire students to connect intellectually and 
emotionally with music from the Western canon and beyond, the text is supported by a suite of online ancillaries, including interactive listening 
maps, videos and animations, an instructor’s manual, PowerPoint presentations, a computerized test bank, and an interactive eBook. Following 
the established sequence for Music Appreciation texts, the book opens with an introduction to the musical elements; the instruments of the 
orchestra; and a discussion of how to listen to music. Then, each musical era is highlighted in individual parts, with a brief introduction to the 
key composers and developments that occurred in music and the related arts. Individual chapters focus on key figures or movements, with 
detailed Listening Maps offering unique guidance to students on how and why to listen to each work. Between each part, Global Connections 
allow students to make connections with non-Western musical traditions’—Provided by publisher. 

Identifiers: LCCN 2019028380 (print) | LCCN 2019028381 (eBook) | ISBN 9780190938925 (paperback) | ISBN 9780190938949 (epub) 

Version 1.1 





Subjects: LCSH: Music appreciation. 

Classification: LCC MT90 .T54 2020 (print) | LCC MT90 (eBook) | DDC 780—dc23 
LC record available at https://Iccn.loc.gov/2019028380 

LC eBook record available at https://Iccn. loc. gov/201902838 1 


Printing number: 9 87654321 
Printed by Quad/Graphics, Inc. 
Mexico 


For my students, past, present, and future 


Brief Contents 





PART 


PART 


PART 


PART 


PART 


PART 


PART 


8908600 





The Elements of Music 
The Middle Ages 

The Renaissance 

The Baroque 

The Classical Period 
The Romantic Period 
The Modern Era 


Contents 


About the Author 
Preface 


Acknowledgments 





The Listening Experience 
Musical Elements: An Overview 
What Is Classical Music? 
Classical Periods and Styles 
The Classical-Popular Connection 
TIMELINE 





CHAPTER (1) Pitch, Melody, and Key 


1.1 Pitch 
1.2 Notating Pitch 
™ MAKING CONNECTIONS: The Physics of Sound: The Octave 


Clefs 
Sharps, Flats, and Naturals 
1.3 Melody 
Phrases and Intervals 
Consonance and Dissonance 
™ MAKING CONNECTIONS: The Ancient Greeks and Consonances 
1.4 Key 
The Major and Minor Scales 
The Chromatic Scale 
check your Knowledge 


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CHAPTER 2 Rhythm, Meter, Texture, and Dynamics 


2.1 Rhythmic Values 
2.2 Tempo Markings 
lM! MAKING CONNECTIONS: The Metronome 
2.3 Pulse or Beat 
2.4 Measures 
Upbeats and Downbeats 
Meter 
Time Signatures 
2.5 Texture 
Monophonic Texture 
Polyphonic Texture and Counterpoint 
2.6 Harmony 
Homophonic Texture 
The Triad 
Harmonic Progression 


2.7 Tonality 

2.8 Dynamics 

lM MAKING CONNECTIONS: The Sound of Silence 
check your Knowledge 


rey 





CHAPTER (3) Timbre, Instruments, and Ensembles 


3.1 Timbre 
3.2 The Voice 
3.3 The Family of Musical Instruments 
3.4 Musical Ensembles 
Instrumental Ensembles 
Vocal Ensembles 
Mixed Ensembles 
3.5 Benjamin Britten, The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra (1946) 
check your KNOWLEDGE 
® LISTENING MAP 1: Benjamin Britten, Zhe Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra[1946] 


CHAPTER (4) Musical Form 


4.1 Binary and Ternary Form 

4.2 Theme and Variations 

lM MAKING CONNECTIONS: Musical Form in Architecture and Painting 
check your KNOWLEDGE 


CHAPTER (5) Learning How to Listen 


5.1 Listening to Hamilton, “My Shot” 
Context 
Style 
Form 


5.2 Mapping the Listening Experience 
Overview Table 
M® LISTENING MAP 2: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton, “My Shot” [2015] 
check your KNOWLEDGE 
PART ISUMMARY 





Why Listen to Medieval Music? 
TIMELINE 
Milestones of the Medieval Era 


CHAPTER 6) Origins of Medieval Music 


check your KNOWLEDGE 





CHAPTER (7) Music for the Christian Church 


7.1 Gregorian Chant 


7.2 The Divine Office and the Mass 

7.3 Medieval Christmas Music: Viderunt omnes 

check your KNOWLEDGE 

® LISTENING MAP 3: Anonymous, Viderunt omnes (“All the Ends of the Earth’) [fifth 
century] 





CHAPTER Hildegard of Bingen 


M® LISTENING MAP 4: Hildegard of Bingen, O viridissima virga (“O Greenest Branch’) 
[twelfth century] 
check your KNOWLEDGE 


CHAPTER (9) Léonin and the Rise of Polyphony 


™ MAKING CONNECTIONS: Gothic Cathedrals and Polyphonic Architecture 


check your KNOWLEDGE 
M® LISTENING MAP 5: Léonin, First Respond from Viderunt omnes (“All the Ends of the 
Earth’) [twelfth century] 


CHAPTER Secular Medieval Music 


10.1 Musical Instruments 
10.2 Secular Medieval Song 
check your KNOWLEDGE 





CHAPTER (11) Machaut and the Rise of Secular Polyphony 


check your KNOWLEDGE 


M® LISTENING MAP 6: Guillaume de Machaut, Puis qu’en oubli sui de vous (“Since you have 
forgotten me”) [CA. 1365] 


PART IT SUMMARY 
~ GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: Myanmar: Buddhist Chant and Ritual Music 
M™ MAKING CONNECTIONS: Music for Celebrations 





Why Listen to Renaissance Music? 


Humanism 
Rebirth 
TIMELINE 
Classical Revival 
Artists as Individual Creators 
Transition to Modernity 





CHAPTER (12) The Development of Renaissance Music 


™ MAKING CONNECTIONS: The Renaissance Rediscovers Classical Antiquity 
check your KNOWLEDGE 


CHAPTER (13) Guillaume Dufay and the Franco-Flemish 
Style 


lM MAKING CONNECTIONS: Brunelleschi’s Dome 
® LISTENING MAP 7: Guillaume Dufay, Mass Se la face ay pale, Kyrie [CA. 1450] 
check your KNOWLEDGE 


CHAPTER Josquin Desprez 


M™ MAKING CONNECTIONS: Lorenzo the Magnificent 
check your KNOWLEDGE 
® LISTENING MAP 8: Josquin Desprez, Ave Maria [CA. 1485] 


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CHAPTER (15) Palestrina and the Counter-Reformation 


™ MAKING CONNECTIONS: Martin Luther and the Reformation 
check your KNOWLEDGE 


CHAPTER New Currents: National Styles 


16.1 The Italian Madrigal 

™ MAKING CONNECTIONS: Art Imitates Life: The Shocking Music of Carlo Gesualdo, 
Prince of Venosa 

16.2 The English Madrigal 

M® LISTENING MAP 9: Thomas Weelkes, “As Vesta Was from Latmos Hill Descending” 
[1601] 

check your KNOWLEDGE 





CHAPTER. 17 ) The Rise of Instrumental Music 


lM MAKING CONNECTIONS: The English Reformation 


® LISTENING MAP 10: William Byrd, “Pavana Lachrymae” for harpsichord solo, based on 
John Dowland ‘5s lute song “Flow My Tears” [ca. 1600] 


check your KNOWLEDGE 
PART TI SUMMARY 


@ GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: Bali: Gamelan Music 
@ MAKING CONNECTIONS: The Gamelan and the West 


PART (iv) The Baroque 


Why Listen to Baroque Music? 
Baroque Art and Architecture 


The Musical Legacy of the Baroque 
TIMELINE 


Q 


CHAPTER | 18 | Elements of Baroque Music 


18.1 The Development of Tonality 
18.2 The Basso Continuo 


18.3 Melody, Rhythm, and Dynamics in Baroque Music 
check your KNOWLEDGE 


CHAPTER. 19 Claudio Monteverdi and the Rise of Italian 
Opera 


©) MAKING CONNECTIONS: St. Mark’s Basilica, Venice 
©) MAKING CONNECTIONS: Orfeo and the Rise of the Orchestra 


€) LISTENING MAP 11: Claudio Monteverdi, Orfeo, Act III, “Possente spirto” (“O Powerful 
Spirit’), excerpt [1607] 
19.1 Barbara Strozzi and the Chamber Cantata 


€) LISTENING MAP 12: Barbara Strozzi, “Voglio morire” (“I Wish to Die”) from L’Amante 
segreto (The Secret Lover) [1651] 


check your KNOWLEDGE 


CHAPTER | 20 | The Spread of Opera 


20.1 Opera in France 

©) MAKING CONNECTIONS: Music as Royal Power: Lully at the Court of Louis XIV 
20.2 Henry Purcell and English Opera 

check your KNOWLEDGE 


€) LISTENING MAP 13: Henry Purcell, Dido and Aeneas, Act III, “When I Am Laid in Earth” 
[1689] 


Q 


CHAPTER 21 Baroque Instrumental Music 


21.1 The Violin Family 

21.2 The Harpsichord 

21.3 The Organ 

21.4 New Musical Genres 

21.5 Arcangelo Corelli 

21.6 The Baroque Concerto 

€) LISTENING MAP 14: Arcangelo Corelli, Trio Sonata in A Minor, Op. 3 No. 10 [1689] 
check your KNOWLEDGE 


Q 


CHAPTER | 22. Antonio Vivaldi 


€) LISTENING MAP 15: Antonio Vivaldi, Spring from The Four Seasons, Op. 8 No. 1, First 
Movement [CA. 1725] 


check your KNOWLEDGE 


CHAPTER 23. Johann Sebastian Bach’s Life and Career 


23.1 Bach’s Early Life and Career Beginnings 
23.2 The Move to Céothen 

23.3 Final Years in Leipzig 

© MAKING CONNECTIONS: Bach’s Children and Wives 
check your KNOWLEDGE 


Q 


CHAPTER. 24. Bach’s Instrumental Music 


24.1 Bach and the Fugue 

€) MAKING CONNECTIONS: Fugues beyond Music 

@) LISTENING MAP 16: J. S. Bach, “Little” Fugue in G Minor for Organ [CA. 1708-1717] 
24.2 Bach’s Concertos 

check your KNOWLEDGE 


@) LISTENING MAP 17: J. S. Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D Major, First Movement 
[1721 or earlier] 


CHAPTER | 25. Bach’s Sacred Music 


25.1 Bach’s Cantatas 
©) MAKING CONNECTIONS: A Tale of Two Churches 


€) LISTENING MAP 18: J. S. Bach, Cantata No. 140, Wachet auf (Sleepers, Awake!), First 
Movement [1731] 


25.2 Bach’s Other Religious Music 
check your KNOWLEDGE 


CHAPTER 26 | George Frideric Handel 


©) MAKING CONNECTIONS: Handel versus Bach: Two Baroque Titans Compared 
26.1 Handel’s Life and Career 


€) LISTENING MAP 19: G.F. Handel, Water Music: Alla Hornpipe [1717] 
26.2 Handel and Italian Opera 
check your KNOWLEDGE 


Q 


CHAPTER | 27 ) Handel and the English Oratorio 


©) MAKING CONNECTIONS: Handel, the Duke of Cumberland, and Bonnie Prince Charlie 
©) MAKING CONNECTIONS: Handel’s Messiah and Jonathan Swift 


2 LISTENING MAP 20: G.F. Handel, Messiah, Aria, “Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion” 
[1742] 


@) LISTENING MAP 21: G.F. Handel, Messiah, “Hallelujah” Chorus [1742] 
€2 MAKING CONNECTIONS: Standing Up for Handel 
check your KNOWLEDGE 











\PTER 28 ) The End of the Baroque 
check your KNOWLEDGE 
YNNECTIONS: Japan: The Koto 
€2 MAKING CONNECTIONS: Musical Representations of Spring 









Why Listen to Music from the Classical Period? 
The Enlightenment 

Timeline 
The Revival of Antiquity 


pTER | 29 ) Music in the Classical Period 





29.1 Composers of the New Classicism 
29.2 Melody in Classical Music 
@ MAKING CONNECTIONS: Balance in Neoclassical Art and A 
29.3 Dynamics in Classical Music 
The Fortepiano 
29.4 Rhythm in Classical Music 
29.5 Harmony and Texture in Classical Music 
check your KNOWLEDGE 





rchitecture 








APTER | 30 ) Genres < 


30.1 New Instrumental Genres 
30.2 Sonata Form 


The Sonata Form in Action 
30.3 Theme and Variations Form 
30.4 Minuet and Trio 


€) LISTENING MAP 22: W.A. Mozart, Eine kleine Nachtmusik (A Little Night Music), K. 
525, First Movement, Allegro [1787] 


€) LISTENING MAP 23: Franz Joseph Haydn, Symphony No. 94 in G Major (“Surprise”), 
Second Movement (Andante) [1791] 


30.5 Rondo Form 


@) LISTENING MAP 24: W.A. Mozart, Eine kleine Nachtmusik (A Little Night Music), K. 
525, Third Movement (Allegretto) [1787] 


©) MAKING CONNECTIONS: The Rise of the Minuet 


€) LISTENING MAP 25: Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Sonata in C Minor, Op. 13 
(‘“Pathétique”’), Third Movement (Allegro) [1798] 


check your KNOWLEDGE 


Q 


CHAPTER | 31 ) Joseph Haydn 


31.1 Haydn’s Life and Music 

©) MAKING CONNECTIONS: The Esterhazys and Haydn 
31.2 Haydn and the Classical Orchestra 

© MAKING CONNECTIONS: Haydn in England 

31.3 Haydn and the String Quartet 


€) LISTENING MAP 26: Franz Joseph Haydn, Symphony No. 94 in G Major (“Surprise”), 
Fourth Movement (Allegro Molto) [1791] 


31.4 Haydn’s Influence 


©) LISTENING MAP 27: Franz Joseph Haydn, String Quartet in G Major, Op. 76 No. 3 
(“Emperor”), Second Movement (Poco adagio, cantabile) [1797] 


© MAKING CONNECTIONS: The Politics of Haydn’s “Emperor’s Hymn” 
check your KNOWLEDGE 


Q 


CHAPTER | 32 | Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 


32.1 Mozart’s Life and Career 

©) MAKING CONNECTIONS: Mozart as Freemason 

©) MAKING CONNECTIONS: Mozart and Posterity 

32.2 Maria Theresia von Paradis: “The Blind Enchantress” 
32.3 Mozart and the Classical Concerto 


€) LISTENING MAP 28: Maria Theresia von Paradis, “Morgenlied eines armen Mannes” 
(“The Morning Song of a Poor Man’’) [1786] 
32.4 Mozart and Italian Opera 


©) LISTENING MAP 29: W.A. Mozart, Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488, First 
Movement (Allegro) [1786] 


32.5 Mozart and German Opera 


©) LISTENING MAP 30: W.A. Mozart, The Marriage of Figaro, K. 492, Act I, Scene 2, 
Figaro, “Se vuol ballare” (“If you want to dance’’) [1786] 


() LISTENING MAP 31: W.A. Mozart, The Magic Flute, K. 620, Act II, Scene 3, Queen of 
the Night, “Der Hdlle Rache” (“Vengeance of Hell’’) [1791] 


32.6 Mozart’s Legacy 
check your KNOWLEDGE 


Q 


CHAPTER | 33 |) Ludwig van Beethoven 


33.1 Beethoven’s Early Period 
©) MAKING CONNECTIONS: Beethoven and Haydn 
33.2 Beethoven’s Middle Period 


€) LISTENING MAP 32: Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Sonata in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 27 No. 2 
(“Moonlight”), First Movement (Adagio sostenuto) [1801] 


©) MAKING CONNECTIONS: Napoleon as Romantic Figure 
33.3 Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony in C minor 
© MAKING CONNECTIONS: Finding Meaning in Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony 


©) LISTENING MAP 33: Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, First 
Movement (Allegro con brio) [1808] 


@) LISTENING MAP 34: Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Second 
Movement (Andante con moto) [1808] 


€) LISTENING MAP 35: Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Third 
Movement (Allegro) [1808] 


33.4 Beethoven’s Late Period 


€) LISTENING MAP 36: Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Fourth 
Movement (Allegro) [1808] 


33.4 Beethoven’s Death and Funeral 

33.5 Beethoven’s Legacy 

check your KNOWLEDGE 

PART V SUMMARY 

©) GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: Thailand: Music of the Khaen 
© MAKING CONNECTIONS: Free-Reed Instruments 


























Why Listen to Romantic Music? 
Romantic Movements 


Timeline 


\PTER | 34 ) Music in the Romantic Period 


34.1 Melody in Romantic Music 

34.2 Dynamics and Expression Marks in Romantic Music 
34.3 Tempo and Rhythm in Romantic Music 

34.4 Harmony and Tonality in Romantic Music 

34.5 Forms and Genres in Romantic Music 

34.6 Timbre and Tone Color in Romantic Music 

© MAKING CONNECTIONS: Romantic Content in Program Music 
check your KNOWLEDGE 








Q 








€2 MAKING CONNECTIONS: Lyric Poetry and Us 

35.1 Schubert’s Life 

35.2 Schubert’s Lieder 

© MAKING CONNECTIONS: Goethe and Music 

35.3 Schubert’s “Erlking” 

@) LISTENING MAP 37: Franz Schubert, “Erlkénig” (“T 
35.4 Robert Schumann 

35.5 Schumann’s Dichterliebe, Op. 48 

35.6 Clara Schumann 

€2 LISTENING MAP 38: Robert Schumann, “Im wunderschénen Monat Mai” (“In the Lovely 
Month of May”), from Dichterliebe (Poet's Love) [1840] 

35.7 Clara Schumann, “Liebst du um Schénheit” (“If You Love for Beauty”) 

@) LISTENING MAP 39: Clara Schumann, “Liebst du um Schénheit” (“If You Love for 
Beauty’) [1841] 

© MAKING CONNECTIONS: Clara Schumann as Composer 

check your KNOWLEDGE 








ve Erlking”) [1815] 








Q 


CHAPTER 36 ) Piano Music 


€) MAKING CONNECTIONS: The Age of the Virtuoso 
36.1 Frédéric Chopin 
Chopin’s Nocturnes and Preludes 
©) MAKING CONNECTIONS: A Double Portrait by Delacroix 
©) LISTENING MAP 40: Frédéric Chopin, Nocturne in E-Flat Major for Piano, Op. 9 No. 2 
[1831] 
€) LISTENING MAP 41: Frédéric Chopin, Prelude in D Minor for Piano, Op. 28 No. 24 
[1839] 
36.2 Franz Liszt 
€2 MAKING CONNECTIONS: Lisztomania 
Liszt, Petrarch Sonnet No. 104 


36.3 Fanny Hensel 
Hensel, “Il Saltarello Romano” (“The Roman Saltarello”’) in A Minor, Op. 6 No. 4 


() LISTENING MAP 42: Franz Liszt, Petrarch Sonnet No. 104 [1858] 


€) LISTENING MAP 43: Fanny Hensel, “Il Saltarello Romano” (“The Roman Saltarello”) in A 
Minor, Op. 6 No. 4 [1841] 
check your KNOWLEDGE 


Q 


CHAPTER | 37. Orchestral Music 


37.1 Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy 
©) MAKING CONNECTIONS: Mendelssohn as Conductor 
Mendelssohn, Overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 
€) LISTENING MAP 44: Felix Mendelssohn, Overture to. 4 Midsummer Night’s Dream, Op. 
21 [1826] 
37.2 Hector Berlioz 
Fantastic Symphony 
©) MAKING CONNECTIONS: The Romantics and Opium 


€) LISTENING MAP 45: Hector Berlioz, Fantastic Symphony, Finale, “Dream of a Witches’ 
Sabbath” [1830] 
check your KNOWLEDGE 


Q 


CHAPTER | 38 ) Romantic Opera 


38.1 Italian Romantic Opera 
Giuseppe Verdi 
38.2 French Romantic Opera 


€2 LISTENING MAP 46: Giuseppe Verdi, Rigoletto, Act III, Canzone, “La donna é mobile” 
(“Woman Is Fickle”) [1851] 


38.3 German Romantic Opera 
Richard Wagner 
©) MAKING CONNECTIONS: Musical Cues in Wagner and Beyond 


€) LISTENING MAP 47: Richard Wagner, Das Rheingold, concluding scene, “The Gods’ 
Entrance into Valhalla” [1854] 


check your KNOWLEDGE 


Q 


CHAPTER | 39 ) Late-Nineteenth-Century Music 


39.1 Johannes Brahms 
Brahms, Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77, Third Movement 
39.2 Nationalism in Music 


€) LISTENING MAP 48: Johannes Brahms, Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 77, Third 
Movement [1879] 


©) MAKING CONNECTIONS: Nationalism in Art 
39.3 Antonin Dvorak 
Dvorak, Symphony No. 9 (“From the New World”), Second Movement 
©) MAKING CONNECTIONS: Jeanette Thurber and Music Patronage, Americanized 
39.4 Russian Music 
©) LISTENING MAP 49: Antonin Dvor “ak, Symphony No. 9 (“From the New World”), Second 
Movement, Largo [1893] 
Modest Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition 


€) LISTENING MAP 50: Modest Mussorgsky, Pictures at an Exhibition, “The Great Gate of 
Kiev’ (1874), orchestrated by Maurice Ravel [1922] 


Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky 
39.5 Program Music of the Later Nineteenth Century 
() LISTENING MAP 51: Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Romeo and Juliet [1880] 
Richard Strauss, Death and Transfiguration 
Gustav Mahler 
() LISTENING MAP 52: Richard Strauss, Death and Transfiguration [1889] 
39.6 Europe at the Close of the Century 
Bizet, Carmen, Habanera from Act 
@) LISTENING MAP 53: Gustav Mahler, Songs of a Wayfarer, No. 2 [1896] 
Instrumental Genres and Verismo Opera 


0) MAKING CONNECTIONS: The Afterlife of La Bohéme 

(2 LISTENING MAP 54: Georges Bizet, Carmen, Act 1, Habanera [1875] 
check your KNOWLEDGE 

PART VI SUMMARY 

© GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: The Gambia: Music of the Mandinka 

©) MAKING CONNECTIONS: Music that Tells a Story 















Why Listen to Music from the Modern Era? 


Modernist Innovations 





PTER | 40 | Music in the Twentieth Century 
40.1 Alternatives to Tonality 

40.2 Arnold Schoenberg and the Rejection of Tonality 

(2 MAKING CONNECTIONS: Atonality and Soundtracks 

40.3 New Experiments with Rhythm and Timbre 

check your KNOWLEDGE 


Q 


ist Revolution 





apter | 41 ) The Moder 


41.1 Claude Debussy 
© MAKING CONNECTIONS: The Eiffel Tower as Modernist Icon 

Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun (1894) 
@ MAKING CONNECTIONS: Symbolism 
@) LISTENING MAP 55: Claude Debussy, Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun [1894] 
41.2 Igor Stravinsky 

NNECTIONS: The Ballets Russes 

Stravinsky, The Rite of Spring (1913) 
(2 LISTENING MAP 56: Igor Stravinsky, The Rite of Spring, “Introduction” and “Augurs of 
Spring: Dance of the Adolescents” [1913] 
41.3 Arnold Schoenberg 
© MAKING CONNECTIONS: Wassily Kandinsky and German Expressionism 

















Schoenberg, Pierrot lunaire, “Valse de Chopin” (1912) 
€) LISTENING MAP 57: Arnold Schoenberg, Pierrot lunaire, No. 5, “Valse de Chopin” 
[1912] 
41.4 Alban Berg and Anton von Webern 
check your KNOWLEDGE 


Q 


CHAPTER 42 | Neoclassicism 


42.1 Sergei Prokofiev 
Prokofiev, Symphony No. | in D major (“Classical”) (1917) 
© MAKING CONNECTIONS: Music in the Soviet Union 
42.2 Stravinsky and Neoclassicism 
Stravinsky, Symphony of Psalms (1930) 
€) LISTENING MAP 58: Sergei Prokofiev, “Classical” Symphony, First Movement [1917] 
€) LISTENING MAP 59: Igor Stravinsky, Symphony of Psalms, Second Movement (Psalm 
40:1—3) [1930] 
©) MAKING CONNECTIONS: Stravinsky as Lecturer 


42.3 Béla Bartok 
Bartok, Music for String Instruments, Percussion and Celesta (1936) 


©) MAKING CONNECTIONS: Palindromes and Musical Symmetries 
check your KNOWLEDGE 


Q 


CHAPTER | 43 ) National Styles 


43.1 English Music 
Vaughan Williams, Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (1910) 
©) LISTENING MAP 61: Vaughan Williams, Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis[{1910] 


43.2 Dmitri Shostakovich and Russian Music 
Shostakovich, Symphony No. 5, Second Movement (1937) 
check your KNOWLEDGE 
©) LISTENING MAP 62: Dmitri Shostakovich, Symphony No. 5, Second Movement [1937] 


Q 


CHAPTER | 44 ) American Music: Beginnings to Aaron 
Copland 


44.1 Amy Beach 
Beach, Romance for Violin and Piano, Op. 23 (1893) 
44.2 Charles Ives 
€) LISTENING MAP 63: Amy Beach, Romance for Violin and Piano, Op. 23 [1893] 
Ives, General William Booth Enters into Heaven (1914) 
€) LISTENING MAP 64: Charles Ives, General William Booth Enters into Heaven [1914] 
44.3 William Grant Still 
Still, “Afro-American” Symphony, Third Movement (“Humor”) (1930) 
€) LISTENING MAP 65: William Grant Still, “Afro-American” Symphony, Third Movement 
(“Humor”) [1930] 
©) MAKING CONNECTIONS: The Harlem Renaissance and the “New Negro” 
44.4 George Gershwin 
©) MAKING CONNECTIONS: Rhapsody in Blue: An Icon of American Music 
Gershwin, “Summertime,” from Porgy and Bess (1935) 


©) LISTENING MAP 66: George Gershwin, “Summertime,” from Porgy and Bess, as 
performed by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong [1957] 


44.5 Aaron Copland 
Copland, Appalachian Spring (1944) 


€) LISTENING MAP 67: Aaron Copland, Appalachian Spring, Section 7: Variations on the 
Shaker melody “Simple Gifts” [1944] 


check your KNOWLEDGE 


CHAPTER 45 _) Jazz 


45.1 The Rise of Jazz: Ragtime and Blues 
Ragtime 
The Blues 
©) MAKING CONNECTIONS: Robert Johnson and the Blues as Literature 
Bessie Smith, “Lost Your Head Blues” (1926) 
€) LISTENING MAP 68: Bessie Smith, “Lost Your Head Blues” [1926] 
45.2 Early Jazz: New Orleans and Beyond 
45.3 The Birth of Swing Music 
45.4 Duke Ellington 
Ellington, “Mood Indigo” (1930) 
@) LISTENING MAP 69: Duke Ellington, “Mood Indigo” [1930] 
45.5 The Birth of Bebop 
Charlie Parker, “Constellation” (1948) 
€) LISTENING MAP 70: Charlie Parker, “Constellation” [1948] 
45.6 Cool and Free Jazz 
Miles Davis 


©) LISTENING MAP 71: Miles Davis, Bitches Brew (“Miles Runs the Voodoo Down,” 
opening section) [1969] 
check your KNOWLEDGE 


Q 


CHAPTER | 46 ) Film Music, Musicals, and Contemporary 
Popular Styles 


46.1 The Rise of Film Music 
John Williams 
©) LISTENING MAP 72: John Williams, “Imperial March” from The Empire Strikes 
Back{1980] 
46.2 Musicals 
Leonard Bernstein 
46.3 Contemporary Popular Styles 
©) MAKING CONNECTIONS: The Many Roles of Leonard Bernstein 
©) LISTENING MAP 73: Leonard Bernstein, West Side Story, Balcony Scene, “Tonight” 
[1957] 
©) MAKING CONNECTIONS: The ’60s: Music of Protest 
check your KNOWLEDGE 


Q 


CHAPTER 47 The Eclipse of Modernism: New Frontiers 


47.1 The New Order: Total Serialism 
47.2 New Resources in Sound 
Edgard Varése 
© MAKING CONNECTIONS: An Early Electronic Studio 
€) LISTENING MAP 74: Edgard Varése, Poéme électronique (Electronic Poem), opening 
2'36" [1958] 
47.3 Further Developments in Electronic Music 
Chance in Music 
John Cage 
€) LISTENING MAP 75: John Cage, 4'33” [1951] 
©) MAKING CONNECTIONS: Across the Arts: John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg, and Merce 
Cunningham 
47.4 Women and Contemporary Music 
Ellen Taaffe Zwilich 
€) LISTENING MAP 76: Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Concerto grosso, First Movement [1985] 


47.5 Postmodernism 
Minimalism 
©) MAKING CONNECTIONS: Minimalism in the Visual Arts 
John Adams 
€) LISTENING MAP 77: John Adams, Short Ride in a Fast Machine [1986] 
The Future Beckons 
47.6 Into the Twenty-First Century 
Sofia Gubaidulina 
47.7 The Future 
©) LISTENING MAP 78: Sofia Gubaidulina, Violin Concerto No. 2 (“In tempus praesens”’), 
opening section [2007] 
check your KNOWLEDGE 
PART VIT SUMMARY 
©) GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: North India: Rhythm in Hindustani Music 
© MAKING CONNECTIONS: Rhythmic Patterns 


Glossary 
Credits 
Index 





Videos 


Part I 
Part I Overview: Why Study Music? 





Part I Overview: Elements of Music 

Part I Overview: Western Classical Music across Time 

Part I Overview: Classical Connections in Film 

Chapter 1: Western Scales 

Chapter 3: Instruments of the Orchestra 

Chapter 3: The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra 
Part II 

Chapter 6: Modally Speaking 

Chapter 10: Early Musical Instruments 

Global Connections: Buddhist Chant and Ritual Music: Pwe Festival 
Part I 

Chapter 13: Cantus Firmus Technique 

Chapter 14: The Choral Tradition of Josquin’s Ave Maria 

Chapter 17: Renaissance Musical Instruments 

Global Connections: Bali: Gamelan Music: Gamelan Demonstration 

Global Connections: Bali: Gamelan Music: Gamelan Performance 
Part IV 

Chapter 18: Figured Bass 

Chapter 19: “Possente Spirto” from Monteverdi’s Orfeo 

Chapter 21: The Violin Family 

Chapter 21: The Organ 

Chapter 24: J. S. Bach’s Music for Solo Violin 

Global Connections: Japan: The Koto: Koto Demonstration 
Part V 

Chapter 29: Clementi Fortepiano 

Chapter 32: Mozart’s Turkish Rondo 

Chapter 32: “Se Vuol Ballare” from Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro 

Chapter 33: Improvisation and Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata 

Chapter 33: Beethoven’s Cello Sonata in A Major 

Chapter 33: Introducing Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony 
Chapter 33: Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, Second Movement 


wie, Uy 1 Wee 9 N WAS. w, LW 


Global Connections: Thailand: Music of the Khaen: Khaen Demonstration 


Part VI 
Chapter 35: The Riddles of Musical Ciphers 
Chapter 35: Clara Schumann, Romance in D-Flat h 
Chapter 36: Fanny Hensel, the Other Mendelssohn 
Chapter 38: Watch a concert production of the aria “La donna é mobile” from Rigoletto 
Chapter 39: The Habanera from Carmen 
Global Connections: Gambia: Music of the Mandinka: Mandinka Jali 
Part VII 
Chapter 40: Dissonance 
Chapter 40: How to Construct a Tone Row 
Global Connections: North India: Rhythm in Hindustani Music : Tabla (Paired Drums) Demonstration 








Aajor, Op. 22 No. 1 for violin and piano 








About the Author 


R. Larry Todd is Arts & Sciences Professor at Duke University. He earned his doctorate in musicology from Yale 
Unwersity in 1979 after jommg the Duke faculty the prior year. Throughout his career, Todd has combined his 
scholarly pursuits, enjoyment in teaching, and performances as a pianist, all of which have informed his approach to 
Discovering Music. His books include Mendelssohn: A Life in Music, described as “likely to be the standard 
biography for a long time to come” (New York Review of Books), and Fanny Hensel: The Other Mendelssohn, 
which received the ASCAP Slonimsky Prize. The breadth of Todd’s expertise is apparent ftom his many 
publications and research on composers ranging from the Renaissance to the twentieth century, including Obrecht, 
Haydn, Robert and Clara Schumann, Liszt, Joseph Joachim, Brahms, Ethyl Smyth, Horatio Parker, Amy Beach, 
Richard Strauss, and Webern. His recent book, Beethoven’ Cello: Five Revolutionary Sonatas and Their 
World, co-authored with Marc Moskovitz, received the 2019 CHOICE Academic Title Award. Todd’s research 
has been supported by fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, National Humanities Center, and John Hope 
Franklin Humanities Institute. 

Todd studied piano at the Yale School of Music and with Lilian Kallir. With Nancy Green, he has issued the 
complete cello/piano works of the Mendelssohns for JRI Recordings and has created several youtube videos, e.g., 
with Nancy Green, the documentary/performance video Exploring Beethovens Cello Sonatas 
(https//www. youtube.com/watch?v=113jxYMnC1s); a solo recording of Mendelssohn’s Phantasie Op. 28 
(https//www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lq WQd0gS8); and, with the violinist Katharina Uhde, videos of works by 
Robert and Clara Schumann. They present lecture/recitals at music conferences and festivals nationally and 
internationally as well. 


Preface 


Discovering Music presents an overview of primarily Western music for introductory courses in music appreciation. 
Students taking this course often have a wide variety of musical backgrounds and preparation. Some have few or no 
musical skills, while others already have the ability to read and play music to differing degrees, and still others enroll 
in the course with more advanced levels of musical knowledge. A considerable challenge for the instructor—and the 
textbook writer—is to strike a suitable level of instruction that meets the varying needs of this diverse group. 
Discovering Music is designed for students with little to no musical background, yet it has much to offer even to 
students with musical training. In short, it will help all students get the most out of their listening experiences. 


Approach 


This book discusses seventy-eight works drawn from the history of music, starting in the Middle Ages and continuing 
through present times. The highlighted works range from the chant Viderunt omnes, dating from the fifth century, to 
the Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina’s Violin Concerto from 2007, tracing a span of over 1,500 years. Most of 
the selections are familiar compositions that have long been considered masterpieces and standard repertoire of the 
Western classical tradition. They connect with one another through a remarkable, ever-changing narrative that 
constantly engages our musical imaginations. Fixtures in the concert hall, these compositions represent snapshots of 
the rich historical flow of music. In these moments, we can explore why a particular composer and composition 
speak to us, resonate with us, and ultimately move us. 

How do we explain to students why a chant ftom the Middle Ages, a Bach fugue, or a modernist experiment 
from the twentieth century is relevant to thei lives? The answer, in part, is to show that where we are today is 
unavoidably a reflection of history writ large. All of this music is connected, though we do not often see (or take the 
time to see) how it is bound together. There is, too, the issue of how different generations value music from different 
historical periods. Bach’s music fell into neglect after his death in 1750, and its revival was a long process that took 
much of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In the 1990s, the twelfth-century music of Hildegard of Bingen, 
largely unknown and forgotten, was rediscovered and suddenly found favor. Students may seem removed from the 
Western classical tradition, but that does not mean the music can no longer speak to them. 

Music that has established a foothold in time remains relevant in powerful ways. There is something universal 
about Monteverdi’s treatment of the Orpheus myth in Orfeo, Beethoven’s iconic Fifth Symphony, or Stravinsky’s 
Rite of Spring. Even though these works come down to us from utterly different historical times, we can still connect 
with them meaningfilly. 

At the outset, music appreciation students need to develop certain basic skills in how to listen, but they also need 
to consider why to listen. This book begins by reviewing fundamentals of Western music before launching its 
historical survey. Then, as each new composition is introduced, the text offers guidance on both how and why to 
listen. Here I have adopted a strategy that aims to demystify the experience of listening to unfamiliar music. The 
reasons for why to listen vary considerably. They can range, for example, from considering how music can mirror a 
text, to analyzing the shifting dynamics of a soloist versus a group of musicians. We might listen to examine how 
music can present dramatic conflict and resolve it, or how music can satisfy our contrasting needs for structure and 
spontaneity. The Western classical tradition operates not only in the purely musical realm but also in the realm of 
ldeas. SomMeumes tnese ideas are encoded M texts, Dul Olen NOL; SomeuMes wey are MmMTored Ciearty M we Music 


(for example, the idea of spring in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring), and sometimes they are 
just roughly sketched or suggested. 


Features 


The second edition of Discovering Music offers the depth, breadth, and context that students need, in a visually 
appealing and interactive format. Designed to inspire students to connect intellectually and emotionally with music 
from the Western canon and beyond, the text incorporates interactive listening maps, videos, and animations. An 
instructor’s manual, computerized test bank, and enhanced e-book are also available. 


¢ Visual Listening Maps help students follow along and engage with each piece. They include four main 
components: 


* Opening table of basic information, clearly identifying form, meter, tempo, and scoring and providing a 
brief overview 


° “Why to Listen” description, explaining the special significance of the piece 
° “First Listen” chart, color coded to show the basic structure of the piece at a glance, with timings 


° “A Deeper Listen” chart, showing more detail, also with timings and color coded to match “First Listen.” 
Some entries include numbered annotations that call out particular points in the music and tie in with the 
narrative of the main text. 


¢ Making Connections boxes highlight intriguing historical and cultural Inks with the music discussed, 
deepening the listening context. 


¢ Check Your Knowledge questions at the end of each chapter help students test their comprehension of key 
concepts as they read. 


¢ Part Overviews with Timelines introduce the text’s parts, previewing the following chapters and providing 
cultural context. 


e Part Summaries conclude each part, providing lists of key terms and composers and a bulleted recap. 


¢ Global Connection interludes between parts broaden the coverage to introduce examples of world music 
through performance videos, highlighting commonalities between classical and popular Western music. 


¢ Marginal links connect to related videos, audio clips, and interactive listening maps. 


Organization 


Discovering Music begins by considering the basic elements of Western music, divided into clear categories, 
including pitch, rhythm and meter, texture, dynamics, timbre, and form. The first part ends with a new chapter titled 
“Learning How to Listen” (Chapter 5), which uses Lin-Manuel Miranda’s song “My Shot” from the musical 
Hamilton to walk students through a sample listening map, applying concepts presented in the preceding chapters. 

Parts II—VII offer historical survey beginning with the Middle Ages and proceeding through the Renaissance, 
Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Moder Era. Positioned within the narrative of Western music are six interludes 
called Global Comnections, comparing and contrasting elements of musical traditions. 

Each historical part begins with a part opener and timeline, designed to introduce students to musical and cultural 
highlights from each period. The chapters within each part then offer a mixture of historv and musical stvle, focusing 
on principal composers and their mnovations. The selected works have been chosen to enhance students’ 
understanding of the musical past, and its relevance to us today. 


Discovering Music is the product of many years of teaching, performing, and listening to this music. It provides 
just one approach that speaks to our need for music, relating broad aesthetic concepts to the experience of listening 
to great compositions from across the centuries. When all is said and done, this book can only offer selected entry 
points into a rich musical tradition that remains inexhaustible. 


New in This Edition 


The updates for this edition respond to valuable feedback from both instructors and students. The result is an even 
more engaging approach that shows students both how and why to listen, emphasizing the relevance of course 
content and highlighting connections between history, music, and other art forms. 


NEW REPERTORY 
Lin- Manuel Miranda, Hamilton, “My Shot” (Part I) 


Barbara Strozzi,“Voglio morire” from the cantata L’amante segreto (Part IV) 
Maria Theresia von Paradis, “Morgenlied eines armen Mannes” (Part V) 


NEW FEATURES 


Visual timelines open each part, placing musical developments within a broader context of history and culture. 
All-new Global Connections end parts II-VI. 


NEW COVERAGE 


A new Part I overview gives students a foundation for understanding the elements of music. 

A new chapter on listening (Chapter 5) includes a walk-through ofa sample listening map. 

A short biography of the Chevalier de Saint-Georges highlights his contributions to music of the classical period 
(Part V). 


Works by or discussion of women composers are now included in every time period. 


NEW VIDEOS 


Undergraduates on why they study and perform music (Part I, p. 3) 

Elements of music (Part I, p. 4) 

Overview of musical eras (Part I, p. 5) 

The choral tradition of Josquin’s Ave Maria (Part III, p. 93) 

The Clementi Fortepiano (Part V, 200) 

A discussion of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony featuring performance excerpts (Part V, pp. 251, 255, 257) 

Performance of Clara Schumann’s Romance in D-flat major, Op. 22 No. 1 (Part VI, p. 291) 

Non-Western music demonstrations and performances (part of the new Global Connections features, pp. 78, 
113, 190, 267, 387, 520) 


Digital Learning Tools to Enrich Your Course 


All new print and electronic versions of Discovering Music come with access to a full suite of engaging digital 
learning tools that work with the text to bring content to life and build critical listening skills. 


Digital ACCESS LW DISCUVEFINY MUSIC WICIUUES LIE LULU Willy TESUULCES,; 


e An enhanced eBook integrates Larry Todd’s engaging narrative with a rich assortment of audio and video 
resources 


e Streaming audio provides students with access to high quality recordings of all 78 key pieces discussed in 
the text 


¢ Digital Listening Maps animate the First Listen segment of the 78 in-text Listenng Maps, making it easier 
for students to follow along with the music 


¢ A collection of 56 engaging videos provides hours of rich multimedia content: 
* New custom videos include Why to Study Music, Elements of Music, and Western Classical Music 
across Time. 
° Twenty-three author videos feature R. Larry Todd explainng and demonstrating key concepts 


° Fifteen instrument videos created specifically for Oxford University Press and hosted by 
members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra introduce students to instruments of the orchestra while 
offering reflections on the importance of classical music froma diverse group of practicing musicians 


¢ Nine early instrument demonstrations from the Peabody Conservatory give students insight into 
instruments they are unlikely to have encountered in contemporary music 


* Eight non-Westem music demonstrations and performances enrich the text’s new Global Connections 
features 


¢ Four opera performance videos give students the opportunity to experience both the visual and audio 
aspects of this art form. Videos include: 
* Monteverdi, L’Orfeo, Act II, “Possente spirto” (“O powerful spirit’) 
* Mozart, The Marriage of Figaro, K. 492, Act I, Scene 2, Figaro, “Se vuol ballare” 
° Verdi, Rigoletto, Act III, Canzone “La donna e mobile” (“Woman Is Fickle’’) 


° Bizet, Carmen, Act I, Habanera 


¢ Interactive timelines for Parts II through VII allow for further exploration. 


* Quizzes test students’ knowledge of each of the text’s 47 chapters. Quizzes average eight to ten questions in 
length and often include at least one listening question related to a brief audio clip. 


FLEXIBLE DELIVERY OPTIONS 


At Oxford University Press, we create high-quality, engaging, and affordable digital material in a variety of formats, 
and deliver it to you in the way that best suits the needs of you, your students, and your institution. You can choose 
to deliver Discovering Music via: 


¢ Your local learning management system 


With course cartridges from Oxford University Press, there is no need to learn a separate courseware 
platform to access quality digital learning tools within your learning management system (LMS). Instructors 
and their LMS administrators can simply download Oxford’s cartridge to incorporate engaging content from 
OUP ais into an LMS for asses and aa Download the cartridge from Oxford’s online Ancillary 


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e Oxford’s cloud-based Dashboard 


Ideal for instructors who do not use a LMS or prefer an easy-to-use alternative to their school’s designated 
LMS, Dashboard delivers engaging learning tools within an easy-to-use cloud based courseware platform. 
Pre-built courses in Dashboard provide a learning experience that instructors can use “off the shelf’ or 
customize to fit their course. A built-in gradebook can serve as a heat map that instructors can use to identify 
quickly and easily trends in the way the course as a whole and individuals are performmng. Visit 
www.oup.com/dashboard or contact your Oxford University Press representative to learn more. 


e A stand-alone enhanced eBook 


Ideal for self-study, the Discovering Music enhanced eBook delivers the full suite of digital resources in a 
format that is independent from any courseware or learnmg management system platform. The enhanced 
eBook is available through leading higher education eBook vendors. 


Additional Instructor Resources 


Save time in course prep with these valuable tools, available for download on Oxford’s online Ancillary Resource 
Center (ARC): 

¢ A computerized test bank 

¢ PowerPoint lecture outlines 


¢ A detailed instructor’s manual, including: 


° Suggested syllabi for 12- and 14-week courses 
° Suggested activities for every chapter 
* Discussion questions for every chapter 


° Lecture notes for every chapter 
¢ Course cartridge for integrating the full suite of Discovering Music digital resources into your LMS 


Visit https://oup-arc.com/access/todd or contact your Oxford University Press representative to request access. 


PART 


The Elements of Music 


My idea is that there is music in the air, music all around us, the world is full 
of it and you simply take as much as you require.—SIR EDWARD ELGAR 





Music is all around us, but we must learn how to listen. The swooping, curving steel exterior of the Walt Disney Concert 
Hall in Los Angeles captures the excitement of listening to great music. 


CHAPTER 1 


Pitch, Melody, and Key 


CHAPTER 2 
Rhythm, Meter, Texture, and Dynamics 


CHAPTER 3 
Timbre, Instruments, and Ensembles 


CHAPTER 4 
Musical Form 


CHAPTER 5 
Learning How to Listen 


Why do we listen to music, and for what do we listen? How does music affect us emotionally, intellectually, and 
spiritually? How does the way we listen—and what we hear—affect our lives? 

There are no simple answers to these questions, because music operates on many levels. Music can even aflect 
us physically, and we often associate it with memorable moments in our lives. Across the ages it has played many 
important roles in society, and these roles continue to evolve. To understand them, we need to develop strategies for 
how to listen. We will begin by considering the listening experience itself. 


The Listening Experience 


Most of our listening is casual. From music in advertisements, to ringtones and in-store playlists, we often experience 
musical elements passively. Generally, we pay little attention to this music and probably develop little emotional 
connection to it. 

In contrast, how do we listen to music we choose? Here, we are more attentive, as great music rewards 
repeated listening. A phrase or harmony might stand out to us, or we might focus on meaningful lyrics set to 
memorable rhythms. We become attached and return to our favorite pieces repeatedly. 

Listening to music, whether absorbing it passively or dwelling on it actively, involves receiving and processing a 
stream of information. Consider the famous four notes that open Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony (“Da-da-da-DUM”’). 
You will instantly recognize the burst of three rapid notes followed by a fourth, prolonged note that stops the music in 
its tracks. What information do those notes communicate? If we can begin to appreciate how different aspects of 
music interact, we can enhance the pleasure of listening. 


AUDIO: The opening of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony 


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One way to enhance listening skills—and by extension, enjoyment—is to develop a basic vocabulary for 
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communicate in a direct way, beyond the vocabulary that might define it. It should have qualities that relate to our 
varied human experiences. 


Video 1.1: Why Study Music? You might wonder how learning about music will help you achieve your broader goals in 
college. We asked a group of university students, most of them science majors, what value they found in studying and 
performing classical music. 


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Musical Elements: An Overview 


What is music? One way to address this question is to think about what distinguishes musical sounds from non- 
musical ones. For example, we do not generally consider the sounds of jackhammers or whirring fans to be music. In 
the next five chapters, we will explore a few of the most basic musical elements, as outlined in Table I.1 and its 
associated video. 




















TABLE I.1 Elements of Music 


Pitch The relative height of a musical sound, represented by a musical note. 


Melody A memorable succession of pitches. 


Harmony 
Beat 
Rhythm 


Texture 


Dynamics 


Timbre (pronounced 
“tambur,” also called tone 


color) 


Form 


The combination of simultaneously sounding pitches to produce a pleasing effect. 
The fundamental pulse in a musical composition. 
The organization of sounds into temporal (time-related) relationships. 


How melodic lines and harmonies blend in a composition, whether in a simple (e.g., one 
voice singing) or complex way (multiple voices and instruments layered together). 


The levels of loudness and softness in music. 


The quality of sound of a musical instrument or voice. 





The structural organization of a composition. 


Taken together, these elements help us distinguish different types of music that we call styles, recognizable 
patterns of sound qualities in music. In this book, you will probably encounter many types of music that are unfamiliar 
to you. Yet, just as you have likely discovered new cuisines to enjoy, exploring different musical styles will broaden 
your listening palate and enrich your life. 


Video 1.2: Elements of Music. Explore basic elements that distinguish musical sounds. 


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A IMPORTANT NOTE: Your score for this item will not report to your instructor's gradebool 





If your instructor has assigned this item you must complete it within their course in your 


system/virtual learning environment, not within this eBook, in order to receive credit. 


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1. When pitches are arranged in a memorable sequence, they form a(n) 


©) harmony. 
O note. 
© melody. 
O) chord. 


2. Which of the following is most analogous to a polyphonic texture? 


O Two people talking about different things at the same time. 
O A person singing alone in the shower. 
O A professor delivering a lecture while students take notes. 


O A crowd of people chanting the same slogan in unison. 


3. How is rhythm different from the beat? 


O All beats are equally stressed while rhythms vary between stressed and unstressed notes. 
O Most popular music is lacking rhythm but still has a beat. 
O Most popular music is lacking a beat but still has rhythm. 


O Beats are typically steady and regular while rhythms can vary in length. 


4. If a composer wants to indicate that a performer should start softly, get suddenly loud, an: 
from loud to soft, what dynamic markings would she use? 


Op at 


Opf> 
O <fp 
Opfp 


5. What element of music allows us to tell the difference between a French horn and a trum] 


O timbre 
O texture 
O meter 


O instrument family 


6. In terms of musical form, what would the letters A B C A indicate about the sections of a 


O There are three sections. The last section is the same as the first. 
O There are four sections. Three of the sections have different music and one section repeats the music from a 
© There are three sections. All of the sections are the same with an optional repeat at the end. 


O There are four sections. Each section uses different musical materials with no repetition. 


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| Find out more E 





What Is Classical Music? 


The term classical music has two meanings. The first refers to a broad category of Western (European and 
American) art music dating back to the medieval era. The second is more specific, referring to music composed in 
the European tradition between approximately 1750 and 1800. The beauty of music is that the oldest styles can 
become new again when new listeners discover them. 

Classical music is for everyone. You have probably heard it without even realizing, and you may have played or 
sung some yourself; When you listen to classical music, keep the following in mind: 


¢ You do not need to understand music notation to enjoy this music, but it is helpful to learn some basic 
components of music. 
¢ Listening to classical music rewards patience and an open mind. 


¢ Finally, learning about the historical context in which music was composed adds to understanding and 
enjoyment. 


CLASSICAL PERIODS AND STYLES 


Before exploring elements critical to Western classical music, it helps to have a broad sense of the main historical 
periods. Timeline | provides an overview to help orient you as you begin this journey. 


Video 1.3: Western Classical Music across Time. Travel through the centuries to hear different musical styles as they 
evolved from the medieval era to today. 


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Scholars debate how to divide Western history into distinct periods, and that debate is particularly vigorous in 
the arts. One difficult question is how the present time fits in with the broader history. Does twenty-first-century 
music still maintain strong ties to the twentieth century, or is it on the threshold of a new historical period? Only time 
will tell. 




















THE CLASSICAL-POPULAR CONNECTION 


We often regard classical and popular music as polar opposites. According to this view, classical music is for a highly 
educated audience; popular music is for mass consumption. But, as it turns out, classical and popular music are 
interrelated and occupy a musical continuum. Virtually all of the major composers of Western classical music drew 
on the popular music of their own time. For example, in the eighteenth century, the Austrian composer Joseph Haydn 
incorporated folk tunes and popular dance styles into his symphonies. And for one of the most celebrated operas of 
all time, Carmen (1875), the French composer Georges Bizet composed a habanera, a sensual dance first 
popularized in Havana, Cuba. These examples belong to classical music, yet they simultaneously embrace popular 
forms of music making. Let’s look at several more connections across popular styles. 


Classical connections in jazz. 


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which many regard as America’s indigenous classical music, emerged as an authentic art form. Introduced in New 
Orleans as a fusion of different popular styles, jazz experienced within a few decades a remarkable transformation 


into an art form. “Classical”? composers took note, and several incorporated jazz styles into their music. In the 
1920s—1930s, composers including George Gershwin and Aaron Copland borrowed rhythms and harmonies from 
jazz in their compositions. During the 1950s, the “third stream’ movement in jazz included many collaborations 
between classical and jazz musicians. 


Classical connections in film music. 


Film music is another popular form that has been influenced by classical styles. Several pioneering film composers of 
the Golden Age of Hollywood (ca. 1935—1955) were classically trained musicians who had emigrated from Europe. 
In ther film scores, they borrowed techniques from nneteenth-century opera. For example, an invisible symphonic 
orchestra often plays the background music in films. In the opera house, the stage substituted for the screen, and the 
orchestra was semi-concealed in a pit. 

A famous use of classical inspired music in film is in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 psychological thriller, Psycho. The 
score, by composer Bernard Herrmann, borrows heavily from the early twentieth-century composers Arnold 
Schoenberg and his followers (see Part VII). 


> 


Video 1.4: Classical Connections in Film. In Psycho, jarring harmonies and unusual combinations of instruments and 
timbres help create an unsettling, suspenseful mood. This style connects the techniques of twentieth-century classical 
music to the world of popular entertainment. 


Classical connections to our lives today. 


You might think you’ve never heard music from the seventeenth century. But if you’ve been to a wedding, you 
probably have. A piece by the German organist Johann Pachelbel—his Canon in D (ca. 1680)—1is the most popular 
music played at weddings today, followed by Felix Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March,” written in 1842. 

At the other end of the spectrum, you probably are familiar with the mournful tune and gloomy chords of 
Chopin’s famous “Funeral March” (1840): just thnk “Dum-Dum-Da-Dum ...” This well-known composition is a 
staple of movies and Bugs Bunny cartoons, and has even been used by rap artists. 

These examples may seem trivial—but imagine a contemporary pop song being just as popular in 2320 as when 
it was written. That melodies composed hundreds of years ago are still part of our cultural soundtrack is testimony to 
their status as classics. 


Click on the timeline to open it ina new tab 


Middle Ages Renaissance Baroque period Classical period Romantic period Modern era Postmodernism 


Ca, 450-1450 Ca. 1450-1600 Ca, 1600-1750 Ca. 1750-1800 1800s 1900-1970s 1970s-today 


Monophony gives way to polyphony Composers recognized as Complex melodies and forms; Balanced forms; Selfexpression valued New scales and harmonies Revival of older styles 
(Ca. tenth century) individual creators; gradual turbulent, emotional music; more graceful, more highly than following reflectin i mbii ith emphasis 
introduction of tonal harmony development of modern tonality simpler melodies | 


pre 


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Classical rules abandonment of tonality ‘on exploration 








The Middle Ages 


All of creation is a song of praise to God. —HILDEGARD OF BINGEN 


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Illuminated fourteenth-century chant manuscript. 


CHAPTER 6 
Origins of M edieval Music 


CHAPTER 7 

Music for the Christian Church 
CHAPTER 8 

Hildegard of Bingen 

CHAPTER 9 

Léonin and the Rise of Polyphony 


CHAPTER 10 
Secular M edieval M usic 


CHAPTER 11 
Machaut and the Rise of Secular Polyphony 


GLOBAL CONNECTIONS Myanmar: Buddhist Chant and Ritual Music 


Early Western music sprang from the expanse of time known as the Middle Ages (or medieval era), roughly the fifth 
to the mid-fifteenth century. Renaissance thinkers looking back on this era saw it as one of stagnation, a wasteland 
separating classical antiquity from their own golden age. They dismissed the early medieval centuries, wracked by 
political instability and dire poverty, as the “Dark Ages.” Nor did they admire the later medieval centuries, termed 
“Gothic.” (The name derives from the Goths, marauding Germanic tribes who had periodically ravaged the Roman 
Empire from the third century on.) Today, however, historians view the Middle Ages more positively and recognize 
its contributions to Western culture. 





Aachen Cathedral in Germany, with Romanesque decoration. 


Why Listen to Medieval Music? 


Despite its remoteness, medieval music has retained a significant link to the present. Much of it was written for the 
Roman Catholic Church, to support early Christian worship. Working over centuries, anonymous musicians crafted 


thousands of sacred chants that endured in an unbroken, rich tradition. The practice of chanting—of singing texts to 
repeated melodic patterns—is common to several faiths and cultures, Western and non-Western. Its mesmerizing 
force and allure are something we understand today, whether celebrating a Mass, listening to Tibetan or Navajo 
chant, or participating in a crowd’s chant at a sports stadium. In medieval Christianity, chanting was a means of 
communicating sacred texts and transporting participants into a trance-like state. It could heighten spiritual 
awareness, including contemplation of the hereafter. 

This music was designed to influence the participants’ mindset, to direct their thoughts away from concerns of 
earthly life and toward heaven. Are there any similarities in today’s music? Consider these parallels: 


¢ The practice of chanting during meditation in Zen Buddhism 


¢ Centuries-old prayers and chants in other faiths, including Judaism and Islam, still performed at different times 
each day as part of religious observances 


Any music used for personal meditation or to create a special atmosphere or personal space apart from the 
concerns of daily life 


Another reason to study medieval music is that it represents the first major step in the development of Western 
classical music. Even within the confines of the Middle Ages, we can see developments in music—for example, from 
single-note melodies to basic harmonies—critical to the course of Western music over the next centuries. Our current 
system of musical notation originated with medieval scribes notating melodies on parchment manuscripts. The story 
of how this music developed is worth tracing, and in the West it began in earnest during the Middle Ages. 





Strasbourg Cathedral, France. Constructed of sandstone between 1176 and 1439, this Gothic cathedral remains the tallest 
extant structure from the Middle Ages. 


Milestones of the Medieval Era 


The first major event marking the medieval era was the fall of the Roman Empire to a Germanic chieftain in 476 CE. 
While the next few centuries remained politically unstable and chaotic, by the seventh and eighth centuries a 
Germanic tribe known as the Franks was consolidating its power. By the eighth and ninth centuries, the arts began to 
enjoy a vigorous revival. The powerful emperor of the Franks, Charlemagne (r. 768-814), promoted literacy, though 
he was himself unable to write. In the tenth and eleventh centuries, the art of manuscript illustration (called 
illumination) reached new heights. Monasteries and cathedrals arose in the Romanesque style, with massive walls 
and rounded arches. In the Gothic style (from the mid-twelfth to the early fifteenth century), the emphasis shifted to 
soaring arches, vaulted ceilings, and shimmering panels of stained glass. 

The late Middle Ages saw the chartering of the first European universities. Meanwhile, Christian philosophy 
drew on the ancient Greeks as well as the church fathers. And over all those centuries of cultural awakening, 
Western art music grew steadily more versatile and complex. 


Interactive Timeline: The Middle Ages 


Development of monophonic plainchant 
Ce 10 


Hildegard of Bingen Rise of the motet and 
‘a. 400-Ca. 901 1098-1179 


8-11 secular polyphony 
Ca. 1200-Ca. 1300 
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Guillaume 
de Machaut 
1300-1377 


Troubadours and trouvéres 
Ca. 1100-Ca. 1200 
———— ee 





Emergence of 

early polyphony 

Ca, 800-Ca. 900 
Ss 


Léonin, Notre Dame organum 


Ca. 1135-Ca. 1201 Machaut, 


Puis qu’en oubli sui de vous 
Ca. 1365 





© Anonymous, 
Viderunt omnes 
Co. 400s 


Musical Works and Composers 





Hildegard of Bingen, O viridissima virga Léonin, Viderunt omnes 
Ca. 1175 @ @ Ca. 1198 


400 600 1000 1200 1400 


Fall of Rome, beginning of Dark Ages Romanesque architecture Onset of Black Death 
476 f Ca. 1000-Ca. 1200 1348 
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Papacy of Gregory | p.4'\ Igee 


(the Great) Crusades in the Holy Land 
590-604 Ca. 1075-Ca, 1300 
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History and Culture 


Reign of Charlemagne Gothic architecture 
768-814 Ca, 1150-Ca. 1400 eee 
————} 


PART 


The Renaissance 


Next to the word of God, music merits the highest praise. —MARTIN 
LUTHER 





Renaissance musicians from the sixteenth century. 


CHAPTER 12 
The Development of Renaissance Music 





The Renaissance was an age of revival in arts and letters. It began in Italy around 1450 and, spreading throughout 
Western Europe, continued until around 1600. Writers, artists, and musicians of the Renaissance saw themselves as 
agents of a cultural rebirth inspired by their rediscovery of classical antiquity. We can trace many of our modem 
attitudes—our curiosity about the world, our interest in human affairs and the human spirit—to the Renaissance 
worldview. 


Why Listen to Renaissance Music? 


During the Renaissance, four innovations decisively altered the character and sound of music, effectively modernizing 
It: 


1) In addition to the older medieval church modes, composers began using two new modes, later recognized as 
our major and minor scales (see p. 15). 

2) In choosing harmonies, composers began preferring triads (three-note chords), the building blocks of most 
music we hear today. 

3) The appearance of musical notation changed considerably. Standard modern features of writing music were 
widely adopted, including separate note heads, stems, and beams to connect notes. 

4) In addition to fourths and fifths, thirds and sixths came to be considered consonant. 


Much Renaissance music was vocal and tied to specific texts carrying specific meanings. The subjects of 
Renaissance songs—often courtship and love—are familiar to us today. In addition to vocal music, the fifteenth and 
sixteenth centuries witnessed the rise of Western music written for instruments alone. This division between vocal and 
instrumental categories continued on down through the centuries. (In the Baroque period, following the Renaissance, 
a third category arose that joined vocal and instrumental forces.) 


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Page from an early music publication by Petrucci of Josquin’s Adieu, mes amours. This notation reveals the addition of 
many modern features, including note heads and stems. 


Humanism 


Central to the Renaissance was the concept of humanism, which emphasized human achievements and values. This 
system of thought was inspired by ancient Greek and Roman works. In ancient Rome the orator Cicero had defined 
humanity (humanitas, from which we derive “humanities”) as the proper pursuit of mankind. Renaissance thinkers 
adopted this idea, which became one of the defining features of the Renaissance. 


Rebirth 


The idea of rebirth was also prominent, especially in the arts. Medieval music was dismissed as unworthy, and the 
state of the visual arts after the fall of Rome in 476 was compared to an aging body. The revival that began with a 
long line of Italian artists and architects—Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Michelangelo among them—was likened 
to a miraculous rebirth. At the center of this artistic fever stood the “universal” or “Renaissance man,” a well-rounded 
figure educated in the humanities, versed in classical literature, and skilled in arms and athletics. Leonardo da Vinci 
(1452-1519) was the ultimate example. His extraordinary achievements as a scientist, artist, inventor, and musician 
set him apart even among his many talented contemporaries. 





Vitruvian Man, a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci of an ideally proportioned human figure, named after the ancient Roman 
architect Vitruvius. 


Classical Revival 


The humanists’ new focus on ancient Greek and Roman civilization came from their readings of the early church 
fathers, who in turn were influenced by the great classical thinkers. The humanists studied ancient ruins, statues, and 
coins. While not rejecting Christian beliefS, they took a more flexible view of Christian teachings than medieval 
thinkers. For the humanists mankind was no longer limited to contemplating the hereafter, but also a creative agent 
that could explore and marvel at the here and now. 


Artists as Individual Creators 


Painters and sculptors depicted the human figure in realistic detail and developed individual styles. They humanized 
art by using linear perspective, which enabled them to render objects on their flat canvases to suggest real depth. 
This technique was probably introduced by the Florentine artist Masaccio in the 1420s and then developed by his 
contemporaries. 





Masaccio, Madonna and Child with St. Anne, ca. 1424. 


Composers, too, came to see themselves as individual creators rather than anonymous artisans. Josquin 
Desprez, perhaps the greatest musical genius of the period, wrote a motet that concealed his own name in an 
acrostic, spelled out by the first letter of each line of text. This musical signature reflected a new attitude about music, 
now emerging as an art practiced by composers with personal, engaging styles. 


Transition to Modernity 


Today, we tend to view the Renaissance as a transition to modern times. Feudalism, supported by a land-based 
economy, was giving way to nation-states such as England, France, and Spain, ruled by monarchs. In Italy, the great 
city-states of Florence, Milan, and Venice were rising. The spread of international trade in turn created a new class 
of wealthy merchants and bankers, including the Medici family of Florence (see the Making Connections box on p. 
92). Whereas previously church and state had been the primary supporters of the arts, the newly prosperous 
merchant class began to produce important patrons as well. Artists were now tasked with creating individual 
portraits, and musicians were commissioned to compose music for specific occasions. 

Ihe growth of science and technology also had a significant impact on the Kenaissance world. Columbus, 
Magellan, and other explorers ventured out onto the oceans, doubling the area of the world known to Europeans. 


Copernicus revolutionized scientific thought by asserting that the earth revolved around the sun, not the sun 
around the earth. Galileo tinkered with designs for a helicopter-like flying machine and diving apparatus. The 
invention of printing provided the means to spread knowledge—and music—on an unprecedented scale. 

The Renaissance valued a new human curiosity about the world and humankind’s place in it. The medieval 
worldview, in which the present was a time of self-denial and preparation for the hereafter, gave way to a burst of 
confidence in humanity’s capabilities. With the dawning of the new age, composers rose to the new challenge. They 
still wrote music to praise God, but also to celebrate human experience, both trivial and exalted. 


Interactive Timeline: The Renaissance 





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1400 1425 1450 1475 1500 1525 1550 1575 1600 1625 
Gutenberg Bible published = Columbus reaches the Americas © The Protestant Reformation Begins @ England defeats the Spanish Armada 
(first printed book) 4 1492 1517 1588 
1454 @ e 
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3 = The Birth of Venus Michelangelo, 1534 
= Lorenzo de Medici Ca. 1486 @ David 1504 @ 
5 takes power in Florence Council of Trent 
= 1459 @ Leonardo Da Vinci, 1545-1563 
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Reign of Elizabeth | in England 
1558-1603 





a k Mona Lisa 1505 @ 
Brunelleschi’s dome, for Florence Cathedral “ 
1420-1436 Michelangelo paints the ceiling 
as of the Sistine Chapel 1508-1512 Miia 


PART 
Q 


The Baroque 


Music wishes to be mistress of the air, not just of the water. —CLAUDIO 
MONTEVERDI 





Painting by Giovanni Paolo Panini of a concert at Teatro Argentina in Rome (1747), celebrating the marriage of Louis the 
Dauphin of France to Marie-Josephe of Saxony. 


CHAPTER 18 
Elements of Baroque Music 


CHAPTER 19 
Claudio Monteverdi and the Rise of Italian Opera 


CHAPTER 20 
The Spread of Opera 


CHAPTER 21 
Baroque Instrumental M usic 


CHAPTER 22 


Antonio Vivaldi 


CHAPTER 23 
Johann Sebastian Bach’s Life and Career 


CHAPTER 24 

Bach’s Instrumental M usic 
CHAPTER 25 

Bach’s Sacred M usic 


CHAPTER 26 
George Frideric Handel 


CHAPTER 27 
Handel and the English Oratorio 


CHAPTER 28 
The End of the Baroque 


GLOBAL CONNECTIONS Japan: The Koto 


The Baroque was both a fanciful artistic style and an era, from roughly 1600 to 1750. The name likely derived from 
a Portuguese word for an irregularly shaped pearl. In music, this period spanned the rise of opera in the seventeenth 
century to the work of J. S. Bach and G. F. Handel in the eighteenth. Much of the period’s art was characteristically 
grand, extravagant, and ornate. 

The Baroque began in Italy. Toward the end of the sixteenth century, this emotional style began to challenge the 
serene balance of Renaissance art. Then, with the start of the seventeenth century, Baroque art emerged in all its 
grandeur. It was powerful and featured monumental, sometimes overwhelming effects. It was lavish, highly 
ornamented, and detailed. And it was an intensely charged art that captured the tortured passions of humankind. 


Why Listen to Baroque Music? 


Baroque music projects a grandiosity and energy, and yet it plumbs the full range of emotions. It can be powerful, 
whimsical, and theatrical Some have found parallels to its forward driving rhythms and strong bass lines in two 
twentieth-century art forms, jazz and rock. These modern forms can also explode with propulsive rhythms and yet 
remain anchored on foundational bass lines that help give the music its structure. 

The characteristics of Baroque art and architecture—its ornate designs, complexity, and bizarre extremes—are 
echoed in Baroque music. In comparison, the Renaissance offered clean lines and measured proportions. There is an 
irrational edge to the Baroque, reminding us that not everything in human affairs is balanced, tidy, and perfect. 
Perhaps for that reason the Baroque has been revived from time to time down through history. 


Baroque Art and Architecture 


First to popularize the Baroque style was a group of Italian artists. Among the innovators was Michelangelo Merisi 
da Caravaggio (1571—1610), whose life mirrored the high drama of Baroque art. He was often involved in street 
fights; one bloody encounter in Rome led to his exile from the city. In his first celebrated painting, The Calling of St. 
Matthew (1599), Caravaggio depicts the moment when the tax collector Matthew is called upon by Christ. The 
painting is set in a darkened tavern, where the only light originates ftom over the raised hand of Christ. Caravaggio 
captures the startled looks of Matthew and his companions as they turn to see the holy figure. 

Another key proponent of the Baroque style was artist and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680). 
Working for several popes during the seventeenth century, Bernini made several improvements to St. Peter’s Square 
and Basilica in the Vatican, the papal enclave within Rome. To surround the vast area before the basilica, he created 
rows of gigantic columns supporting a long roof topped with monumental sculptures. Inside the cathedral, Bernini 


designed the Throne of St. Peter, a spectacular Baroque setting in marble, stucco, and bronze. Golden rays of light 
stream from its top, just above a highly ornate, three-dimensional relief depicting a mass of angels and seraphim. 

From Italy, the Baroque spread throughout Western Europe. The Spanish Baroque found full expression in the 
brilliant portraits of Diego Velazquez, the official court painter of Philip IV. Meanwhile, the Netherlands, now 
emerging as a seafaring economic power, also enjoyed its golden century. Its southern regions were a center of the 
Counter-Reformation, the Catholic Church’s response to the Protestant Reformation. There, the Flemish artist Peter 
Paul Rubens created heroic canvases on a grand scale, with glowing colors and a dynamic sense of movement and 
sweep. In the northern Netherlands (or Dutch Republic), a largely Protestant region, Baroque art culminated in the 
luminous paintings of Rembrandt, master of strong lighting effects and rich color. Rembrandt possessed an uncanny 
ability to capture not just the features but also the character of his subjects, including himself in dozens of revealing 
self portraits. 





The Calling of St Matthew, 1599, by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. Notice the dramatic use of light to convey the 
story. 


In France, the seventeenth century was the “grand century” of Louis XIV, the Sun King, who ruled by divine 
right. The centerpiece of his power was Versailles, not far from Paris. Accommodating thousands, this colossal 
palace, with its glitterng Hall of Mirrors, sweeping vistas, and elegant fountains and gardens, was the envy of 
European monarchs. The stately residence and seat of government impresses as a vast artwork in itself. Its 
exaggerated ornamentation and huge scale effectively projected the authority and enormous power of the French 
king. 

The sciences made strong advances during the seventeenth century, which saw the invention of the telescope and 
microscope. Powerful minds were at work in all areas of scientific exploration, including Galileo Galilei (1564—1642) 


in astronomy and physics, René Descartes (1596-1650) in analytical geometry, William Harvey (1578-1657) in 
anatomy, and Isaac Newton (1642-1726) in calculus and physics. 


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Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Throne of St. Peter, the Vatican (1653), an ornate Baroque creation in marble, stucco, and bronze. 





i 


Diego Velazquez, Las Meninas, 1656. Velazquez was a key painter in the Spanish Baroque style. 





Rembrandt van Ryn, The Night Watch, 1642. Rembrandt’s ability to capture the character of his subjects is shown in the 
two brightly lit foreground figures. 





The Palace of Versailles, a symbol of French king Louis XIV’s power. 


f 


A history of Versailles 


The Musical Legacy of the Baroque 


Throughout the Baroque, composers created compelling music that reflected the emotionalism of the age. That music 
ranged ftom the dramatic operas of Monteverdi and Purcell to the polished chamber music of Corelli, the buoyant 
concertos of Vivaldi, the grand oratorios and operas of Handel, and the cerebral fugues of Bach. We can hear 
elements of the Baroque’s influence on musical traditions that followed. Early in the twentieth century, the remarkable 
musician Wanda Landowska made a highly successful career of reviving the harpsichord (a keyboard instrument that 
predates the piano). This Baroque instrument made another comeback during the 1960s, when bands such as the 
Beatles and the Rolling Stones featured it in their music. 


Interactive Timeline: The Baroque 


Musical Works and Composers 


History and Culture 

















Claudio Monteverdi Orfeo Henry Purcell Dido and Aeneas _ little Organ Fugue in G minor 
1567-1643 1607 1659-1695 1689 Ca. 1710 
SSS Se SSE Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 
Ca. 1720 
J. S, Bach 1685-1750 1731 Cantata No. 140 
Arcangelo Corelli 
1653-1713 1689 Trio Sonata Op. 3 No.10 
—EEEas 
The Four Seasons 
flcanSaptite Luly Antonio Vivaldi 1678-1741 Ca. 1725 
1632-1687 
GF. Handel 1685-1759 1717 Water Music 1742 Messiah 
1550 1575 1600 1650 1675 1700 1725 1750 1775 
Caravaggio Commonwealth in England © John Milton, © Salem witch trials 
1573-1610 1649-1660 Paradise Lost 1692 
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Rembrandt =e 1665 — - 
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PART 


The Classical Period 


Melody is the essence of music. —ATTRIBUTED TO MOZART 





Portrait of young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart performing with his father, Johann Georg Leopold, and his sister, Maria Anna 
(Nannerl), ca. 1763. 


CHAPTER 29 
Music in the Classical Period 


CHAPTER 30 
Genres and Forms in Classical M usic 


CHAPTER 31 

Joseph Haydn 

CHAPTER 32 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 
CHAPTER 33 

Ludwig van Beethoven 


GLOBAL CONNECTIONS Thailand: Music of the Khaen 


The Classical period extended roughly from 1750 through 1800. Its composers reacted against the intricate melodies 
and busy rhythms of the Baroque, instead favoring an accessible style marked by clear forms and balance. Centered 
on three major composers—Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven—the Classical period eventually lent its name to the 
broader idea of art music. Thus, “classical” can refer to the music of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and their 
contemporaries, but it can also refer to the entire tradition, from the medieval era to today. In contrast, the Classical 
period refers to a specific span of music history. Although the period lasted only about half'a century, its influence on 
Western music endured well beyond. 





Enlightenment thinkers such as Mary Wollstonecraft valued reason and explored questions of how to lead a virtuous life. 
Wollstonecraft asserted in A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792) that women were equal to men. 


Why Listen to Music from the Classical Period? 


Mozart was one of the most remarkable child prodigies of all time, and his music remains a popular symbol of the 
Classical period. His work is often depicted as nearly perfect, capable of overwhelming listeners with its sheer 
beauty. Along with his contemporary Haydn, Mozart valued classical features of balance, proportion, and symmetry. 
This music can offer a deeply moving experience, but it usually conveys emotions within an ordered structure. 
Although we are far removed from the eighteenth century, we can relate because we often crave order and balance. 
The compositions of Haydn and Mozart in particular bring us closer to that calming state. Classical music might not 
improve your IQ or spatial reasoning, despite some claims, but it clearly projects certain truths. It has the power to 
express emotions within a harmoniously proportioned and structured whole. 


The Enlightenment 


The Classical period overlapped with a powerful philosophical and political movement known as the Enlightenment 
(Age of Reason), which had begun with the scientific advances of Galileo, Newton, and others in the seventeenth 
century. During the eighteenth century, enlightened thinkers applied the same spirit of scientific inquiry to broader 
questions—how best to govern or lead a virtuous life, for example. They rejected what they saw as the superstitious 
beliefS of the past and instead valued reason, tolerance, and scientific inquiry. In A Vindication of the Rights of 
Women (1792), the English feminist Mary Wollstonecraft argued that women were equal to men and that reason was 
the only authority for the virtuous. For the German philosopher Immanuel Kant, whose motto was “dare to know,” 
the enlightened person possessed an unquenched curiosity about the world. 

That curiosity found outlets in new attempts to organize knowledge: the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus designed 
a system for classifying plants; the Englishman Samuel Johnson produced a two-thousand-page dictionary of the 
English language. Meanwhile, the Frenchman Denis Diderot labored for years over a massive encyclopedia. In 
response to Diderot’s publication, a Scottish publisher brought out the Encyclopaedia Britannica, still available 
after many editions. 

The new movement challenged absolute monarchs, who ruled by divine right and the authority of traditional 
institutions, including the Christian church. Could the Enlightenment’s spirit of inquiry improve quality of life? Some 
European rulers thought so. On the other side of the Atlantic, Americans set down citizens’ rights in the Declaration 
of Independence (1776). The American Revolution and founding of the United States not only demonstrated but 
tested the ideals of the Enlightenment, including its celebration of reason. Some optimistic observers suggested that 
by following this course, mankind would eventually achieve perfection. 


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The 1776 Declaration of Independence proclaimed the United States an independent nation and set down the rights of 
American citizens. 


The Revival of Antiquity 


In searching for that perfection, some artists turned to classical antiquity, which symbolized an earlier golden age. 
This trend is evident in The Death of Socrates (1787) by the French painter Jacques-Louis David, which also 
reflected the political backdrop of revolution. The influential German art historian Johann Winckelmann wrote that 
contemporary artists should imitate the “noble simplicity and silent grandeur” found in Greek statues. In the 1730s 
and °40s, the rediscovery of the ancient cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii kindled new interest in Roman art. 
Classical revivals in architecture spread throughout Europe and then to America. The French architects of the 
Panthéon in Paris (1790) emulated the facade of the Roman Pantheon constructed in the second century CE. In turn, 
Thomas Jefferson captured some of its classical balance in several architectural designs, including one for his 
residence at Monticello. 


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Both (a) the Panthéon in Paris (1790) and (b) Thomas Jefferson’s residence at Monticello (1772) echoed the classical 
balance of the Roman Pantheon (2nd century CE). 


Music historians are divided on how they view the influence of this revival of classical antiquity on eighteenth- 
century music. Some argue that classicism had little effect on eighteenth-century music, given that composers of the 
time—unlike poets and architects—could not draw on ancient Greek and Roman models. Others, though, argue that 
the music of Haydn, Mozart, and the young Beethoven does show characteristics of classical art: poise, formal 
balance, and delight in beauty. This new emphasis was a reaction against the elaborate style of the Baroque and 
reflected the ideas of the Enlightenment. 

There is another reason why the term “classical” appropriately describes the music of the latter eighteenth 
century. In the nineteenth century, composers began to view Haydn’s and Mozcart’s music (and eventually 
Beethoven’s) as timeless works of art that could serve as models, just as ancient artworks had for the eighteenth 
century. Eventually the new Classical music became the masterpieces that later composers used to measure their 
own progress and search for ndependence. 





The Death of Socrates by Jacques-Louis David (1787) represented a return to classical artistic styles while reflecting 
political themes. 


Interactive Timeline: The Classical Period 











Eine kleine 
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Nachtmusik The Magic Flute and Requiem 
1756-1791 17871791 
Piano Sonata, Piano Sonata, 
1786 — : Op. 13 Op. 27 No. 2 
ludwig van Beethoven The Marriage of Figaro and ("Pathétique") (Moonlight) Symphony No. 5 
1770-1827 Piano Concerto No. 23 1798 1801 1808 


Joseph Haydn S “Surprise” Symphony String Quartets, Op. 76 
1732-1809 1791 1797 


: 
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1745-1799 
1750 1775 1800 1825 
@ Rousseau, ©@ Goethe, @ U.S. Constitution ratified; Napoleonic Wars 
The Social Contract The Sorrows of Young Werther David, The Death of Socrates 1803-1815 
1762 774 1787 ———_ 


@ American Declaration EE 
of Independence 





@ Beginning of French Revolution; 
Inauguration of George Washington 


y and Culture 





1776 1789 
2 @ Wollstonecraft, 
Reign of Louis XVI in France A Vindication of the Congress of Vienna 
177A-1792 Rights of Women 1814-1815 





1792 = 


PART 


The Elements of Music 


My idea is that there is music in the air, music all around us, the world is full of 
it and you simply take as much as you require.—SIR EDWARD ELGAR 





Music is all around us, but we must learn how to listen. The swooping, curving steel exterior of the Walt Disney Concert 
Hall in Los Angeles captures the excitement of listening to great music. 


CHAPTER 1 


Pitch, Melody, and Key 


CHAPTER 2 
Rhythm, Meter, Texture, and Dynamics 


CHAPTER 3 
Timbre, Instruments, and Ensembles 


CHAPTER 4 
Musical Form 


CHAPTER 5 
Learning How to Listen 


Why do we listen to music, and for what do we listen? How does music affect us emotionally, intellectually, 
and spiritually? How does the way we listen—and what we hear—affect our lives? 

There are no simple answers to these questions, because music operates on many levels. Music can even 
affect us physically, and we often associate it with memorable moments in our lives. Across the ages it has 
played many important roles in society, and these roles continue to evolve. To understand them, we need to 
develop strategies for how to listen. We will begin by considering the listening experience itself. 


The Listening Experience 


Most of our listening is casual. From music in advertisements, to ringtones and in-store playlists, we often 
experience musical elements passively. Generally, we pay little attention to this music and probably develop 
little emotional connection to it. 

In contrast, how do we listen to music we choose? Here, we are more attentive, as great music rewards 
repeated listening. A phrase or harmony might stand out to us, or we might focus on meaningful lyrics set to 
memorable rhythms. We become attached and return to our favorite pieces repeatedly. 

Listening to music, whether absorbing it passively or dwelling on it actively, involves receiving and 
processing a stream of information. Consider the famous four notes that open Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony 
(“Da-da-da-DUM”). You will instantly recognize the burst of three rapid notes followed by a fourth, 
prolonged note that stops the music in its tracks. What information do those notes communicate? If we can 
begin to appreciate how different aspects of music interact, we can enhance the pleasure of listening. 


AUDIO: The opening of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. | 


gr | oO 


Speed: 1x Paused 





One way to enhance listening skills—and by extension, enjoyment—is to develop a basic vocabulary for 
understanding how music is put together, as we discuss in Part I. But for music to survive over time, it must 
communicate in a direct way, beyond the vocabulary that might define it. It should have qualities that relate 
to our varied human experiences. 


Video 1.1: Why Study Music? You might wonder how learning about music will help you achieve your broader goals in 
college. We asked a group of university students, most of them science majors, what value they found in studying and 


performing classical music. 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. | 


(orchestral music, Beethoven's fifth symphony) 


@ 
rc HD EID) | fr |o2 


0:04/ 4:06 Speed: 1x me lUIsy-r0| 





Why study music? Duke University students share their thoughts. Harry Davidson conducts the Duke Unive! 


performance. 





(orchestral music, Beethoven's fifth symphony) 


Nima speaks to the interviewer. He plays the viola in the orchestra and is a public policy, history double ma, 





(-)| think that playing an instrument or being a musician, you can use a lot of those skills in other parts of yc 


Zoey speaks. She plays the violin in the orchestra and is a visual and media studies major. 





(-)When kids come to college they tend to give up the arts for something maybe more practical, and you kn 


= 


Musical Elements: An Overview 


What is music? One way to address this question is to think about what distinguishes musical sounds from 
non-musical ones. For example, we do not generally consider the sounds of jackhammers or whirring fans to 
be music. In the next five chapters, we will explore a few of the most basic musical elements, as outlined in 
Table I.1 and its associated video. 


TABLE L.1 Elements of Music 


Pitch The relative height of a musical sound, represented by a musical note. 

Melody A memorable succession of pitches. 

Harmony The combination of simultaneously sounding pitches to produce a pleasing effect. 

Beat The fundamental pulse in a musical composition. 

Rhythm The organization of sounds into temporal (time-related) relationships. 

Texture How melodic lines and harmonies blend in a composition, whether in a simple (e.g., one 
voice singing) or complex way (multiple voices and instruments layered together). 

Dynamics The levels of loudness and softness in music. 


Timbre (pronounced 
“tambur,” also called tone 
color) 


The quality of sound of a musical instrument or voice. 





Form The structural organization of a composition. 


Taken together, these elements help us distinguish different types of music that we call styles, 
recognizable patterns of sound qualities in music. In this book, you will probably encounter many types of 
music that are unfamiliar to you. Yet, just as you have likely discovered new cuisines to enjoy, exploring 
different musical styles will broaden your listening palate and enrich your life. 


Video 1.2: Elements of Music. Explore basic elements that distinguish musical sounds. 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. | 


ELEMENTS OF MUSIC 


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EID) | fer |oZ7o 


Paused 





What Is Classical Music? 


The term classical music has two meanings. The first refers to a broad category of Western (European and 
American) art music dating back to the medieval era. The second is more specific, referring to music 
composed in the European tradition between approximately 1750 and 1800. The beauty of music is that the 
oldest styles can become new again when new listeners discover them. 

Classical music is for everyone. You have probably heard it without even realizing, and you may have 
played or sung some yourself. When you listen to classical music, keep the following in mind: 


¢ You do not need to understand music notation to enjoy this music, but it is helpful to learn some basic 
components of music. 
¢ Listening to classical music rewards patience and an open mind. 


* Finally, learning about the historical context in which music was composed adds to understanding and 
enjoyment. 


CLASSICAL PERIODS AND STYLES 


Before exploring elements critical to Western classical music, it helps to have a broad sense of the main 
historical periods. Timeline 1 provides an overview to help orient you as you begin this journey. 


Video 1.3: Western Classical Music across Time. Travel through the centuries to hear different musical styles as they 
evolved from the medieval era to today. 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. | 


(Ludwig cl Beethoven's “sth syenpihor n ") ( MN fe 
4s i’ we = ak | 1 > "Wi vaih 


a Bi re _ = i j PY iy 


ie 
rC«pD (ec) 


10:00 / 8:21 Speed: 1x 





Scholars debate how to divide Western history into distinct periods, and that debate is particularly 
vigorous in the arts. One difficult question is how the present time fits in with the broader history. Does 
twenty-first-century music still maintain strong ties to the twentieth century, or is it on the threshold of a new 
historical period? Only time will tell. 


THE CLASSICAL-POPULAR CONNECTION 


We often regard classical and popular music as polar opposites. According to this view, classical music is for 
a highly educated audience; popular music is for mass consumption. But, as it turns out, classical and 
popular music are interrelated and occupy a musical continuum. Virtually all of the major composers of 
Western classical music drew on the popular music of their own time. For example, in the eighteenth century, 
the Austrian composer Joseph Haydn incorporated folk tunes and popular dance styles into his symphonies. 
And for one of the most celebrated operas of all time, Carmen (1875), the French composer Georges Bizet 
composed a habanera, a sensual dance first popularized in Havana, Cuba. These examples belong to 
classical music, yet they simultaneously embrace popular forms of music making. Let’s look at several more 
connections across popular styles. 


Classical connections in jazz. 


The twentieth century produced compelling examples of how popular music forged links to classical music. 
Jazz, which many regard as America’s indigenous classical music, emerged as an authentic art form. 
Introduced in New Orleans as a fusion of different popular styles, jazz experienced within a few decades a 


remarkable transformation into an art form. “Classical” composers took note, and several incorporated jazz 
styles into their music. In the 1920s—1930s, composers including George Gershwin and Aaron Copland 
borrowed rhythms and harmonies from jazz in their compositions. During the 1950s, the “third stream” 
movement in jazz included many collaborations between classical and jazz musicians. 


Classical connections in film music. 


Film music is another popular form that has been influenced by classical styles. Several pioneering film 
composers of the Golden Age of Hollywood (ca. 1935-1955) were classically trained musicians who had 
emigrated from Europe. In their film scores, they borrowed techniques from nineteenth-century opera. For 
example, an invisible symphonic orchestra often plays the background music in films. In the opera house, the 
stage substituted for the screen, and the orchestra was semi-concealed in a pit. 

A famous use of classical-inspired music in film is in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 psychological thriller, 
Psycho. The score, by composer Bernard Herrmann, borrows heavily from the early twentieth-century 
composers Arnold Schoenberg and his followers (see Part VII). 


> 


Video 1.4: Classical Connections in Film. In Psycho, jarring harmonies and unusual combinations of instruments and 
timbres help create an unsettling, suspenseful mood. This style connects the techniques of twentieth-century classical music 
to the world of popular entertainment. 


Classical connections to our lives today. 


You might think you’ve never heard music from the seventeenth century. But if you’ve been to a wedding, 
you probably have. A piece by the German organist Johann Pachelbel—his Canon in D (ca. 1680)—is the 
most popular music played at weddings today, followed by Felix Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March,” written 
in 1842. 

At the other end of the spectrum, you probably are familiar with the mournful tune and gloomy chords of 
Chopin’s famous “Funeral March” (1840): just think “Dum-Dum-Da-Dum ...” This well-known 
composition is a staple of movies and Bugs Bunny cartoons, and has even been used by rap artists. 

These examples may seem trivial—but imagine a contemporary pop song being just as popular in 2320 
as when it was written. That melodies composed hundreds of years ago are still part of our cultural 
soundtrack is testimony to their status as classics. 


Click on the timeline to open it in a new tab 


Middle Ages Renaissance Baroque period Classical period Romantic period Modern era Postmodernism 


Ca. 450-1450 Ca. 1450-1600 Ca. 1600-1750 Ca. 1750-1800 1800s 1900-1970s 1970s-today 
Monophony gives way to polyphony Composers recognized as Complex melodies and forms; Balanced forms; Selfexpression valued New scales and harmonies Revival of older styles 
{Ca. tenth centu i F i ic; -ombii i 


ry) individual creators; gradual turbulent, emotional music; more graceful, more highly than following reflecting modern life, 
introduction of tonal harmony development of modern tonality simpler melodies Classical rules abandonment of tonality ‘on exploration 


Pre 





7 
Pitch, Melody, and Key 


Speaking broadly, we can define music as sounds heard over time in succession. We might further specify 
that these sounds are organized in some way. 

Over the centuries, musicians have grappled with the need to develop both a language to describe 
musical sounds and a system to notate music in time. In this chapter, we will begin with the basic concepts of 
pitch—how high or low a musical sound is—and how to notate it. 


1.1 Pitch 


All musical instruments produce sounds by setting a vibrating medium in motion. For pianos and violins, the 
medium is strings; for organs and flutes, it is columns of air; for drums, it is stretched membranes; and for 
the human voice, it is vocal cords. Frequencies are the rates of vibrations produced. To the human ear, 
audible frequencies range from about 20 to 20,000 vibrations per second. 

A musical sound projects first and foremost a fundamental pitch, determined by the length of the 
vibrating column of string or other material. The longer the column, the lower the pitch. The longest organ 
pipes or piano strings produce their lowest fundamental pitches; the shortest organ pipes or piano strings 
produce their highest fundamental pitches. In the case of a drum, the overall size (or area) of the vibrating 
membrane will determine the fundamental pitch. 





The shorter the bars on this marimba, the higher the pitch. 


A vibrating medium also emits considerably fainter sounds known as partials, harmonics, or overtones. 
A musical pitch is actually a blend of the fundamental pitch and these fainter sounds. If the fundamental is 
obscured, such as when two sticks are struck or rubbed together, we hear the sound as non-pitched noise. But 
when a flutist blows into a flute, for example, causing vibrations in a column of air, we hear the resulting 
sounds as musical pitches. 

A pitch is thus a blend of many vibrations generated through a medium such as a taut string or a column 
of air. Figure 1.1 shows a string fixed at two points. When the string is plucked, the entire length vibrates to 
produce both the fundamental pitch and the fainter pitches known as partials. These partials are generated by 
periodic vibrations that activate portions of the string: one-half, one-third, one-fourth, and so on. Several 
partials—vibrating along with the fundamental, in halves, thirds, and quarters—combine to create the 
composite pitch. 





FIG 1.1 Representation of a fundamental pitch and its partials. 


Different instruments or voices sound differently because each produces a unique combination of 
fundamental pitches and partials. A tone, or musical sound that is “pure,” is one that has no partials; while 
this doesn’t exist in nature, you can hear such tones by using a music synthesizer. Pure tones lack the 
richness that partials give. On the other end of the spectrum, we define noise as sound that is so rich in 
overlapping partials that the fundamental pitch is obscured. 

Listening to music, we sense that certain pitches are higher or lower than others and that some are close 
together while others are farther apart. If you sing the opening of “ The Star-Spangled Banner,” for example, 
you can easily recognize that the pitch for the word “say” is considerably lower than the pitch for “see.” You 
will also notice that the pitches for “say can you see” are separated by wide gaps, while those for “by the 
dawn’s” are clustered together. 


AUDIO: The opening of “The Star-Spangled Banner” 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. | 


ee | ao 


Speed: 1x Paused 





When we hum a tune, we are aware of its general shape: whether it ascends or descends, centers on a few 
pitches in a narrow range, or actively leaps about. With training, musicians can refine their sense of pitch, 
and some can accurately identify pitches by relying on their long-term memory. Only a few—about one in 
ten thousand—possess this special ability, known as “perfect pitch.” But for everyone, music is a succession 
of distinct sounds. Distinguishing the height of these sounds helps us make sense of the music and, 
ultimately, derive the most pleasure from listening. 


1.2 Notating Pitch 


Around the ninth century CE, early forms of notation, a system of written symbols representing musical 
elements, appeared. Not until centuries later, however, did the five-line staff (Fig. 1.2) became common. It 
still is today, though certainly not all musicians use notation. Many popular musicians rely on playing by ear 
or using a recording studio. Composers of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) often use a specialized MIDI 
notation, derived in part from traditional notation for their music. That said, the five-line staff is emblematic 
of Western music, so we will introduce in this chapter its most important symbols. 





FIG 1.2 The five-line staff. 


The five lines and four spaces of the modern staff accommodate nine pitches, represented by oval-shaped 
symbols known as notes (see Fig. 1.3). Notes can be positioned either on the lines or in the spaces, and 
higher positions represent higher pitches. Extensions of the staff, called ledger lines (short horizontal lines 
placed below or above the staff), can accommodate pitches outside this range. Notes are read from left to 
right. 


ledger 


Pe ey 
: : eee = lines 


ledger-7> eo oe 
lines 
FIG 1.3 Note positions on the staff. 


Figure Animations: Note positions on the staff 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. | 


Speed: 1x 





We use seven letters of the alphabet to identify pitches: A, B, C, D, E, F, and G (in ascending order). 
After G, the cycle begins again. A complete series of eight pitches—such as A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and A 
again; or C, D, E, F, G, A, B, and C again—spans a distance known as an octave. Octaves are a convenient 
way to measure the ranges of musical instruments. For example, the piano has a range of a little more than 
seven octaves; the flute, on the other hand, is limited to about three octaves. 


MAKING CONNECTIONS The Physics of Sound: The Octave 





y . + . 
WM hon Tym 


The ancient Greek poet Sappho with a lyre. 


The ancient Greeks were among the first to discover a unique property of the octave. As we have 
already discussed, if you pluck a length of string, you will hear a fundamental pitch, representing the 


full vibration of the string from end to end. If you then divide the string in half and pluck it, you will 
hear the same pitch, but it will be an octave higher. You could continue halving the string, and each new 
length would produce the next higher octave. 

For example, a string vibrating end to end 440 times a second produces the pitch A above “middle” 
C on the piano keyboard. Divided in half, that string would vibrate 880 times per second (twice as fast) 
and produce the A an octave above. If you were to double the original string in length, the vibration rate 
would be 220 per second, and you would hear the A an octave below the original A. 


CLEFS 


A sign known as a clef appears at the beginning of a staff to help identify pitches. Different instruments use 
different clefs, but two are the most common: 


The treble clef ae) specifies higher pitches 
e 
The bass clef (3) specifies lower pitches 
Instruments that have a high range (for instance, the flute, trumpet, or violin) are notated using the treble 
clef, and instruments with a low range (trombone, tuba, or string bass) use the bass clef. The piano, because 


of its extended range of eighty-eight keys, spans the bass and treble registers, so piano music normally uses 
both clefs, on separate staves that are bracketed together (Fig. 1.4). 





FIG 1.4 Treble and bass clefs in piano music. 


A quick look at a piano keyboard helps illustrate which pitches appear on the two clefs. By convention, 
the treble clef establishes that the second line of the staff is for the pitch G above middle C on the piano (see 
Fig. 1.5). Middle C is the fortieth of the eighty-eight keys and is notated on the first ledger line below the 
treble staff or on the first above the bass staff. The bass clef establishes the fourth line from the bottom of the 
staff as the pitch F below middle C. 


Treble clef 
“middle C” Odove 





& 
2» 
3 
£& 





FGABCDEFGABCDEFGABCDEFGABC 
Waa GOAT ag 


= \ —— 7 
— Odave 
Ce ee 


FIG 1.5 Pitches on the treble and bass clefs. 


SHARPS, FLATS, AND NATURALS 


In addition to the seven basic pitches represented by the letters A through G, Western music uses other 
pitches that lie between. The most common are five pitches produced by the black keys on the piano, for a 
total of twelve different pitches. These keys are located between the white keys (with the exceptions of E and 
F, and B and C, which have no black keys between them). A sharp (#) is slightly higher than a basic pitch, 
and a flat (b) is slightly lower than a basic pitch. 

Depending on the context, different names apply to the black keys and the pitches they produce. As an 
example, consider the black key between middle C and D, indicated in Figure 1.6: it could be labeled either 
C# or Db. A natural sign( 4) cancels a preceding flat or sharp, so that in our example, D §& is the same 
as D. 


FIG 1.6 C# or Db. 


Often, the same sharped or flatted notes remain valid throughout a large part of a composition, if not its 
entirety. In these cases, a key signature immediately after the clefs at the beginning of the staves indicates 
the relevant sharps or flats. Some examples of key signatures are shown in Figure 1.7. 














“ s 
: 2. A | 2 ee 2 | 2 2: ee 2 es | ee 2 eee 
v 2 Oe ee ae Pe 8 2 


—— al EE EY GE Ss 2 
(eS ____ haa —_flar nt ee ee 
a NS ETE Ee 





FIG 1.7 Key signature examples. 


An accidental is a sharp, flat, or natural that indicates a momentary departure from the key signature by 
raising or lowering a note. In notation, all accidentals appear immediately before the notes they modify. 


1.3 Melody 


By themselves, individual pitches are not especially memorable. But if we string together a succession of 
several pitches into a particular shape, a distinctive melody, or musically satisfying series, appears. Let’s 
return to “ The Star-Spangled Banner” and show its opening text and melody in musical notation: 





Oh, say,can you see, by the dawn’s ear - ly _ light. What so 


Figure Animation: Beginning of the Star Spangled Banner 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. | 




















SS 


Oh,___ say, can you see, by the dawn’s ear-ly _ light. What so 


x lie ee Ie xX & \. cal e ae | 


























Sa SSS a 


proud - ly we hailed at the twi-light’s last gleam-ing? 


Speed: 1x 





PHRASES AND INTERVALS 


As anyone who has sung “ The Star-Spangled Banner” knows, it consists of several melodic portions, or 
phrases. Each one, marked by the punctuation in the text, has its own mixture of descending and ascending 
pitches. Occasionally, a phrase ends with a pause, known as a cadence, which gives a sense of momentary 
rest or, at the end of the melody, conclusion. In our excerpt, the music comes to a cadence at the end of the 
phrase “at the twilight’s last gleaming.” 

Each phrase in a melody consists of several pitches. The distance between any two pitches is known as 
an interval. Some intervals are relatively small; in fact, some move by step between neighboring pitches, as 
in “by the dawn’s.” Other intervals are larger and leap between pitches, as in “Oh, say, can you see.” 


The number of steps between consecutive pitches determines the size of an interval. Thus, two adjacent 
pitches form the interval of a second. By gradually increasing the distance between two pitches, we may 
generate intervals of a third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and finally, octave (not an eighth). When two 
musicians play or sing the exact same pitch, the interval is known as a unison. 

Typically, melodies use a variety of intervals that mix conjunct motion (by step) and disjunct motion 
(by leap). In “ The Star-Spangled Banner,” we encounter examples of both conjunct and disjunct intervals. 
“By the” is a conjunct descending second (one step down); disjunct intervals include thirds (descending: 
“Oh, _”; ascending: “say, can”), an ascending fourth (“you see”), and a descending sixth (““dawn’s ear-”’). 


CONSONANCE AND DISSONANCE 


To Western ears, some intervals have a harsh quality and are thus called dissonances. A common example is 
the interval of the second; its jangling, dissonant qualities are particularly evident if two adjacent pitches, say 
C and D, are played simultaneously. 


Second 


Of the larger intervals, thirds and sixths (e.g., C-E and C-A) have a more rounded, pleasant quality and 
are thus considered consonances. 





e > roe 
Third Sixth 


Some common fourths and fifths, for example, C-F, C-G, have a hollow, stable quality and are also 
considered consonant. 


eo ey 
Fourth Fifth 


Sevenths, for example C-B, have an angular, unstable quality and are dissonant. 


—— 


Seventh 


Another interval type, the consonant octave, forms a special category because its pitches duplicate each 
other and seem to blend together. (When male and female voices sing the same melody, they naturally 
duplicate, or double, one another in octaves.) 


e oe 
Octave 


How did we come to accept certain intervals as consonant and others as dissonant? The answer involves 
the acoustical properties of pitches, the neurology ot how we hear them, and some ideas dating back to the 
ancient Greeks (see Making Connections below). Other cultures may perceive these intervals differently. For 
now, we’ll underscore simply that consonance and dissonance are fundamental to most music. 


From infancy we are conditioned to associate dissonance with stress and tension, and consonance with 
relaxation and resolution. Dissonance can create a sense of disorder or, if prolonged, chaos; consonance, on 
the other hand, can create a sense of order and agreement. Most Western music is built on consonant musical 
intervals, into which dissonances are introduced to provide variety. Typically, a dissonance moves to a 
consonance, creating first a sense of tension and then relaxation. By increasing the number of dissonances in 
a piece, composers can powerfully affect listeners’ responses to their music. For an example of a popular 
song that highlights consonance versus dissonance, listen to the Velvet Underground’s “Venus in Furs” 
(1967), in which the consonant verse contrasts with a dissonant chorus. 


CP 


Venus in Furs 


IFN <4 INCOR GCONTN) X04 1 (ODS BBL SRPAW 8160 (5) 81M Gs Rois) @ctr- 0016 ML @xeyelseyar-balerers 





The ancient Greeks were among the first to study musical pitches. Pythagoras, a sixth-century BCE 
philosopher-mathematician, is credited with discovering the basic ratio that underlies the common 
octave. Two fixed strings, columns of air, or other sounding media in a 2:1 ratio produce two pitches 
one octave apart. Similarly, the ratio 3:2 produces a fifth, and 4:3 produces a fourth. 

The Greeks used these basic formulas to represent basic intervals, which they described as 
consonant and reflecting the mathematical harmony of the universe. Some early philosophers believed 
that the movement of the planets emitted inaudible musical sounds, also drawn from these special 
interval relationships. This idea, known as the music of the spheres, was prevalent among astronomers 
and musicians for centuries. 

Pythagoras was highly esteemed in the West. He was often depicted plucking strings of different 
lengths, playing flutes or bells of different sizes, or weighing hammers of different sizes representing 
simple mathematical ratios. When struck on an anvil, the hammers produced the desired consonant 
intervals. 





me 
* 
—SS 


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> 

ey 
(4 
Css 


a ot 
| oS 
‘, 
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a 





SEF 
p =F 


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Pythagoras experimenting with musical pitches. 


1.4 Key 


Regardless of how they use consonant and dissonant intervals, Western composers generally construct their 
melodies around prominently recurring pitches. Usually a melody develops from a central or basic pitch 
known as the tonic. By isolating the basic pitch and then building an ascending series of pitches in an octave, 
we can generate a scale, which determines the key of the particular melody. For example, if the central pitch 
is C, we say that the melody is in the key of C, and use a scale beginning on C to generate the most 
prominent pitches in the melody. If the central pitch of the melody is F, then that melody is in the key of F, 
and so on. 


THE MAJOR AND MINOR SCALES 


Most Western music depends on one of two scales, the major scale and minor scale, in use since about the 
sixteenth century. Major and minor scales have eight pitches each, and these scales can be generated by any 
of the twelve pitches Western composers commonly use. That means that there are twelve major scales, and 
twelve minor scales, for a total of twenty-four. To understand the difference between major and minor, we 
will look briefly at a C-major and a C-minor scale. 

Fig. 1.8 shows a major scale based on C—that is, a C-major scale. 


l 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 
C D E F G A B C 
e a 
W W H W W W H 


W = whole step; H = half step 
FIG. 1.8 C-major scale. 


This scale consists of eight pitches, with seven steps. Half steps (or semitones), the smallest interval 
commonly used in Western music, occur between the third and fourth pitches, and between the seventh and 
eighth. Slightly larger whole steps (or whole tones), which contain two half steps, occur elsewhere in the 
scale. Our version of “ The Star-Spangled Banner” consists almost exclusively of pitches from this scale. 

The minor scale based on C—that is, a C-minor scale—also consists of half steps and whole steps, but 
they occur in a different order, as Figure 1.9 shows. 


l 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 
C D E> F G Ab Bb C 
W H W W H W W 


FIG. 1.9 C-minor scale. 


The main distinguishing feature of the minor scale is its third pitch, which is always one half-step lower 
than the corresponding third pitch of the major scale. This change affects the basic character of the scale; for 
many, it sounds dark and somewhat melancholy in comparison to the major scale, which sounds bright and 
cheerful. We can hear this difference in many well-known melodies based on minor scales, such as “When 
Johnny Comes Marching Home Again” (“The Ants Go Marching One by One’), where the lower third 


occurs on “home”: 


SSS SS 


e 
When John - ny comes march - ing home a - gain 


Other examples of popular songs that use the minor third include “California Dreamin’,” by the Mamas 
and Papas (1965). 

In contrast, the carol “Joy to the World” offers a good example of the raised major third. The melody 
begins with a descending major scale, in which the raised third appears on “Lord”: 


e : o 


Joy to the world, the Lord is come 


Many melodies use both the major and minor third or shift between them. Some examples from popular 
song include the Beatles’ “Fool on the Hill” (1967) and Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” (1979). 


THE CHROMATIC SCALE 


If we take the pitches represented by the seven letter names (A, B, C, D, E, F, and G; think, the seven white 
keys of the piano), and add five more pitches (think, the five black keys of the piano), we end up with twelve 
different pitches before we start duplicating the letter names one octave higher. (On a guitar, think of the 
chromatic scale as using every fret on the fingerboard of any string.) Put another way, in Western music we 
divide the octave into twelve steps, each of which we define as a half-step (or semitone). Two half steps 
make up a whole step (or whole tone). Figure 1.10 shows the twelve steps, starting on “middle” C. 


Octave 








FIG. 1.10 The chromatic scale. 


Video 1.4: Western Scales. Larry Todd demonstrates three types of scales and explains how composers use them to create 
specific moods. 


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We Scales 


CID) | fxr |ow 


Speed: 1x mo lUIsi-r6| 





1. The three basic types of scales include all the following except 


(OD) major 
\) minor 
CY) 
\_) chromatic 


\) tonic 


2. If a composer wants to make an audience feel sad or afraid, which scale are they most likely 


() major 






) pentatonic 


\) chromatic 


3. How many notes are in a major scale? 


Os 
O+6 
Os 
On 


4. What is the first step in a scale that indicates whether it is a minor scale or a major scale? 


QO) The third. 


C) The first. 
O The fifth. 


C) The sixth. 


Taken together, these twelve steps constitute the chromatic scale. The vast majority of the music you 
will hear, and almost all the music described in this book, recognizes the division of the octave into twelve 
half-steps. 

Whether simple or complex, melodies are an essential part of the Western musical experience. One might 
think that, given the limited number of pitches in the major and minor scales, eventually composers would 
exhaust all the great melodies. But it turns out that the possibilities for crafting a memorable tune are 
seemingly endless. Melodies involve not just selecting pitches but varying the types of intervals (conjunct 
and disjunct) and preparing a melodic climax or cadence. They also involve rhythm, which concerns 
temporal relationships between pitches, as we will discuss in Chapter 2. 


check your KNOWLEDGE 1 
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1.1 





Pitch, Melody, and Key 
What is a pitch? What is the difference between a fundamental pitch and a partial? 





Pitch, Melody, and Key 
What is a melody? How many possible melodies could be written? 





Pitch, Melody, and Key 
What is an interval? What is the difference between a half step and a whole step? 





Pitch, Melody, and Key 


What is a scale? What are the main types of scales? 


P 


Chapter 1 Quiz 


CHAPTER 
- 
Rhythm, Meter, Texture, and Dynamics 


Though essential, pitches are just one dimension of music. A second dimension is rhythm, the succession of 
sound durations. In our daily lives, we experience countless examples of rhythm, from heartbeats to speech 
to ocean waves. In music, rhythm refers specifically to the durations of pitches and silences. 


2.1 Rhythmic Values 


Different types of notes indicate different relative pitch lengths, or rhythmic values, in Western music: 


¢ The longest value normally used is the oval-shaped whole note —{). 
* A whole note equals two half notes, ovals with stems attached {| |). 
- A half note equals two quarter notes, solid note heads with stems (J J). 
¢ A quarter note equals two eighth notes, which have flags attached to the stems or are beamed together 
(DD or Jd J. 
¢ By adding more flags or beams, we can represent shorter rhythmic values, such as sixteenth notes and 
thirty-second notes. 


Figure 2.1 summarizes the most frequently encountered types of rhythmic values. 


balan ps 
Dll aitien J J 
— NJ J 
= 8 eighth notes JJ | J] Ji N 


= 16 sixteenth notes IiJ ppp PPP ddeed 
| | 


= 32 thirty-second notes SPI Iddd Jddddded dddddddd sadddaaa 


FIG. 2.1 Rhythmic values (binary division). 








AUDIO: Rhythmic Values 


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eae ae 


Speed: 1x Paused 





Notice that these rhythmic values divide into groups of two: that is, a whole note equals two half notes; a 
half note equals two quarter notes. However, by placing a dot directly after the note head, we can divide 
notes into groups of three. In a dotted note, the dot extends the note by adding half of its value. Thus, a 
dotted whole note —_(.) equals three half notes; a dotted half note (|) equals three quarter notes, and so on. 

We can alter rhythmic values in other ways as well. For example, a curved symbol known as a tie joins 
two notes to produce a rhythmic value equal to the sum of the individual values; a quarter note tied to an 
eighth note is equivalent to three held eighth notes. 


ep mdgie 


me ee 


Triplets are groups of three notes marked by the numeral 3, indicating that they have the same duration 
as two notes of the same value. Thus, a triplet of three eighth notes, ra. has the same value as two eighth 
notes, JJ. 

Finally, composers often use silence in measured quantities known as rests, which have their own set of 
symbols (see Fig. 2.2). 


1 whole rest ce 

= 2 half rests = = 
| | 

= 4 quarter rests i 2 i 2 
| | 

= 8 eighth rests 7799 1779 


Il 


16 sixteenth rests yo999 


7 

32 thirty-second rests gJIIIIIIII 
FIG. 2.2 Rests (binary division). 

As with note values, rests normally divide in two. For example, a quarter rest, 2, equals two eighth 


rests, 77. As you might expect, adding a dot to a rest produces a division in three. Thus, a dotted eighth 
rest, 7%, equals three sixteenth rests. 


Postmodernism 


Middle Ages Renaissance Baroque period Classical period Romantic period Modern era 
Ca. 450-1450 Ca. 1450-1600 Ca. 1600-1750 Ca. 1750-1800 1800s 1900-1970s 1970s—today 
Monophony gives way to polyphony Composers recognized as Complex melodies and forms; Balanced forms; Selfexpression valued New scales and harmonies Revival of older styles 
individual creators; gradual turbulent, emotional music; more graceful, more highly than following reflecting modern life, combined with emphasis 
development of modern tonality simpler melodies Classical rules abandonment of tonality on exploration 


(Ca. tenth century) 
introduction of tonal harmony 


celo “om conmntterc 


es “=: 
bellunroza cho am 
= — 


hac (ec archange — 
a a od 


| I NE ES 
Sliowa dé voc mham = 
hi 16 fo Fel ae 


Carma) C efrare 








2.2 Tempo Markings 


These basic rhythmic values are the building blocks of Western rhythm, just as pitches drawn from scales are 
the building blocks of Western melodies. By themselves, however, rhythmic values do not tell performers all 
they need to know, as there is no absolute standard for measuring them. The durations of these values are 
relative, but performers still need to determine, for example, how long to hold a whole note. Consequently, 
composers often indicate the tempo—the basic pace of their music—by providing tempo markings. Once 
performers know the tempo, they can determine the actual duration of rhythmic values in a performance. 

Finding the right tempo can be a challenging task. If the tempo is too fast, the music rushes by, blurring 
details into a jumble that the listener cannot understand. But if the tempo is too slow, the listener dwells too 
long on individual notes and loses the overall continuity of the music. Of course, setting the tempo is subject 
to the individual preferences of performers, whose interpretations of tempo markings can vary significantly. 

Often, the tempo marking is just one word added above the beginning of the music: allegro (fast), or 
adagio (slow), for example. Table 2.1 lists some common tempo markings, all drawn from Italian, a 
convention dating back hundreds of years. 


TABLE 2.1 Common Tempo Markings 


Presto: Very fast Andante: Moderately slow 
Vivace: Lively Largo: Slow 

Allegro: Fast Adagio: Slow 

Allegretto: Moderately fast Lento: Slow 

Moderato: Moderately Grave: Slow, gravely 





Composers can more precisely indicate tempo by using a metronome, a clocklike mechanism with a 
sliding scale. A metronome can produce ticking sounds at varying rates of speed, depending on the user who 
can adjust the rate either by moving a sliding weight (in a traditional, mechanical device) or by programming 
the desired speed (in a digital metronome). By following metronome markings, performers can accurately 
realize composers’ intentions about tempo. 


NON 4 INCERGCONTN X04 1 (OCHS BW BLSMBLY, Col bueyeleeele 


How do musicians keep track of time? If you were Ludwig van Beethoven living in Vienna in 1816, 
you tried the metronome, a new device introduced by the German inventor Johann Nepomuk Malzel 
(1772-1838). Malzel specialized in building musical machines, and he eventually constructed an entire 
mechanical orchestra that he called a Panharmonicon. He even talked Beethoven into writing a piece for 
it. 

Malzel’s metronome had a pendulum with a movable weight that could decrease or increase the rate 
of ticking sounds, generated by a coiled spring. Beethoven was among the first composers to specify 
tempos by providing metronome markings. 





Mechanical metronome. 


Musicians have long debated the merits of the metronome. As an aid for mastering fast tempos, it is 
invaluable. But for many, the regular ticking interferes with the need for flexibility in performance. 
Still, Malzel’s metronome has enjoyed an afterlife the inventor could not have foreseen. Click tracks, 
which emit regular series of beats and are common in popular music, were developed in the 1930s for 
early sound movies as a way to synchronize music with film. In the same era, American composer 
Henry Cowell developed a complex metronome he called a Rhythmicon; it could play multiple rhythms 
simultaneously. And in 1962 the Romanian composer Gyérgy Ligeti composed a “symphonic poem” 
for 100 metronomes. Once set in motion, they ticked continuously until their springs were exhausted, 
marking the end of the work. 


2.3 Pulse or Beat 


Whatever the tempo marking, performers must set the basic pulse, or beat, of the composition. When we 
listen to music, we usually sense an underlying series of beats. A common analogy compares beats to the 
footsteps of a marching band. Some types of music, such as marches, have beats in groups of two: One-two, 
One-two, and so on. Other types of music, for example waltzes, have beats in groups of three: One-two- 
three, One-two-three, and so on. 

To return to “ The Star-Spangled Banner,” we can mark off its beats by placing them beneath the text, 
where they fall into groups of three. Our example shows how some words are held for exactly one beat, as in 
“say,” “can,” and “you.” Other words, such as “see” and “light,” are held for two beats each, while “by” and 
“the” are held for less than one beat each. 


Oh, say, can you see by the dawn’s ear - ly light What so 
x | x x x | x x xX | x x x | x x x | 


Try making a similar chart for a favorite song of your own. Is the underlying beat pattern in groups of two or 
three? 


2.4 Measures 


Most Western music is metrical: its rhythms are organized into equal segments of time, known as measures 
(or bars), which contain regular beat patterns known as meters. Naturally felt accents mark off the 
beginning of each pattern. Here is a succession of nine undifferentiated beats, with no indication of meter: 


xX xX xX xX xX x xX xX xX 


By stressing the first beat and then every third following beat, we create three groups of three beats each, and 
establish a sense of meter. By convention, vertical lines known as measure lines (or bar lines) mark off 
these metrical divisions: 


[X x x | xX x x | xX x x| 
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 


UPBEATS AND DOWNBEATS 


The natural accent falls on the first beat, or downbeat, of each measure, while the other beats within each 
measure remain relatively unaccented. The last of these “weak” beats in each measure is known as an 
upbeat. The upbeat prepares us for the next measure, which begins with a stressed downbeat that refreshes 
the pattern: 


|x x x | x x x| 


Downbeat Upbeat Downbeat Upbeat 


Stressed beats thus divide musical time into repeating patterns. Sometimes, though, a composer may disrupt 
the meter by placing stresses off the downbeat. In the next example, the stress falls on the second and fourth 
beat of each measure instead of on the first beat. This technique is known as syncopation: 


Syncopated pattern 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 
Beats xX xk x x xX x x x 


This particular syncopated pattern is familiar in most rock music, in jazz, and in many other genres of 
popular music as well, and is often referred to as the backbeat. You can hear the backbeat emphasized by the 
drums and clapping hands at the beginning of Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” 


METER 


Western music has three basic types of meter: 


¢ duple meter, with two beats per measure; 
* triple meter, with three beats per measure; and 
* compound meter, which subdivide beats into smaller groupings of three. 


Marches are an example of duple meter. A common variant of duple meter (sometimes known as 
quadruple meter) has four beats per measure. The third beat receives a slight stress, in addition to the 
stronger stress of the downbeat: one-two-three-four, one-two-three-four. Examples of this meter include 
“America the Beautiful” and “O Canada.” Here is a line from “America the Beautiful” with its beats marked 
off. Notice how this melody begins with an unstressed upbeat: 


A-| — mer- i-ca! A-| mer- i-ca! God| shed his’ grace on| Thee 
four onetwo’ three four onetwo- three four one two three four one, andso on. 


Examples of triple meter include waltzes and “ The Star-Spangled Banner”; their beat pattern is: one— 
two-three, one-two-three. 

Finally, in compound meter, the number of beats per measures (two, three, or four) subdivides into 
smaller groups of three, producing groupings of six, nine, and twelve divisions. Stephen Foster’s song 
“Beautiful Dreamer,” for example, has three beats per measure, which subdivide into groups of three each, 
for a total of nine divisions per measure: one—two-three—four—five-six—seven—eight-nine. 





e) oe 
Beau - ti - ful Drea - mer, wake un - to me 
1 2 3 4567891 2 3 456789 


TIME SIGNATURES 


In music notation, we specify the meter by a time signature, which appears as a fraction for two numbers: 
for example, 3, and §. In duple and triple meters, the upper number indicates how many beats each 
measure has; the lower number indicates the rhythmic value assigned to each beat. Thus, in # (duple 
meter), each measure has two beats, and each beat is equivalent to a quarter note. 

In compound meters, the upper number indicates how many divisions each measure has. In §, each 
measure has six divisions, and each division is equivalent to an eighth note (there are two beats, each with 
three divisions—1 2 3 45 6). Other time signatures include (also indicated as ©, for common time), 

% (also indicated as_ €, for cut time), and compound meters suchas Zand ¥%. 

All these meters—duple, triple, and compound—have regular beat patterns. From time to time, however, 
composers experiment with asymmetrical meters such as or 32.In 3, each measure has five beats 
(each equivalent to a quarter note), usually divided into groups of three and two, or two and three. Popular 
examples that use asymmetrical meters are the Dave Brubeck Quartet’s “Take Five” (1959) and Pink Floyd’s 
“Money” (1973), where the beats group themselves in five and seven. 


|x x x x x | 


|x Xx x x x | 


1 2 3 4 > 


Why might composers choose asymmetrical meters? In large part, it is to escape the regularity of 
conventional meters, the “tyranny of the bar line” that dispenses music in evenly spaced blocks of sound. 
Still, most of the music we hear relies on a small number of duple, triple, and compound meters based on 
simple rhythmic relationships that are easy to follow. 

If rhythm is the temporal glue that binds pitches together, meter channels the music into a measured 
temporal flow. Meter is how we make sense of musical time, by dividing it into easily perceived, regular 
beats. 


2.5 Texture 


How do composers decide how many notes to write, how many different rhythms to use? Often these 
decisions are affected by the texture of the music, that is, the type of fabric of sound that the composer 
chooses to use. Textures can be quite sparse or dense and complex. Put simply, a composer can write just a 
single line of music (imagine a single thread), or several lines of music that are sounding simultaneously 
(imagine a denser fabric of different threads). There are three basic musical textures: monophony, 
polyphony, and homophony. We introduce the first two briefly here; a discussion of homophony follows in 
the section on harmony. 





Musical texture is like a fabric of sound. 


MONOPHONIC TEXTURE 


So far, we have been exploring single lines of music, a simple texture known as monophony (adjective 
monophonic, meaning “one voice”). In monophony, one musician performs a single line of music, or several 
musicians perform a single line of music in unison. For centuries, monophonic music was the prevalent type 
in the West. 


POLYPHONIC TEXTURE AND COUNTERPOINT 


Sometime around the ninth century, a new texture emerged that transformed Western music. This type of 
music, called polyphony (adjective polyphonic, meaning “several voices”), involves multiple sounding lines. 
The art of fitting one line of music against another, different line is called counterpoint (adjective 
contrapuntal, from a Latin phrase meaning “note against note”). Often, the terms polyphony and 
counterpoint are interchanged. (See p. 64, for discussion.) 

In a polyphonic texture known as imitative counterpoint, after one line begins, it is “imitated” by other 
lines of music, typically one at a time. The texture gradually increases in complexity from one to two and 
then more parts. Sometimes, the imitation is literal, as in a type of music known as a canon (examples 


include “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and “Three Blind Mice,” also known as rounds). In Figure 2.3, the 
opening of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” we can see the identical contours of the three parts as they enter, 
one at a time. 


First vole 
t = 


row your boat vent - ly down the 
econd voice (imitates literally 
the first voice) 


row your boat gent - lydown the _ stream, 


Third voice (imitates literally the first voice} pyre 





Row, row, row your boat 


FIG. 2.3 Round, “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” an example of strict imitative polyphony. 


In non-imitative counterpoint, the different parts are relatively independent; the second part shares no 
material with the first. In the following, imaginary example, we hear the passage as one line of music set 
against another, different one. In other words, the second part does not imitate the first (Fig. 2.4): 


First part 


Second part 


FIG. 2.4 Non-imitative counterpoint. 


2.6 Harmony 


While counterpoint is the art of setting lines of music against each other, harmony is the art of using chords 
—usually combinations of three or more pitches that sound simultaneously, not one after the other. 


Chords 


= 


HOMOPHONIC TEXTURE 


Chords often appear in a texture known as homophony (or “similar” voices). Homophony typically features 
a melody supported by chords, as when a guitarist playing chords accompanies a singer. 

The singer’s melody is “harmonized” by the chords of the lower parts. For example, we can harmonize 
the first two phrases of “ The Star-Spangled Banner” by adding chords beneath the melody: 


Melody 


Chords 








Like polyphony, homophony involves several parts moving against one another. There is a basic 
distinction, however. In polyphony, we hear the music as separate lines moving in time. In homophony, we 
hear the music as a succession of simultaneously sounding chords. Polyphony emphasizes the horizontal 
direction of musical lines, like separate threads running through a musical fabric. Homophony highlights 
chords, like blocks of color in fabric. 


THE TRIAD 


Since the mid-fifteenth century, the basic type of chord in Western harmony has been a three-note chord 
known as a triad, constructed by stacking two thirds together, for instance, C-E and E-G, to form the triad 
C-E-G: 


triad 
e) = x 
G G 
E E E 
‘€: ¢ 


HARMONIC PROGRESSION 


Over the years, rules have developed governing the progression from one chord to the next. Two concepts 
critical to harmonic progressions are consonance and dissonance. We have already distinguished between 


consonant and dissonant intervals (see p. 13). In harmony, we extend the idea to consonant and dissonant 
chords. Some chords are consonant; to our ears, they sound stable and pleasant. Other harmonies are 
dissonant, and may sound unstable or harsh. As a general rule, a dissonant harmony progresses to a 
consonant harmony that “resolves” the tension of the dissonance. 


2.7 Tonality 


Tonality (adjective tonal) is a system of musical organization that depends on a network of harmonic 
relationships, all centered on consonant triads. These relationships revolve around a tonic triad that 
establishes the key (see p. 15). Most of the music we hear, whether popular or classical, uses tonality, which 
was developed in the seventeenth century. (For further discussion of tonality, see Chapter 18.) 





Paul Klee’s Dynamic Gradation (1923) uses colors of various intensities to suggest a range of dynamics. 


2.8 Dynamics 


When we describe a pitch, we can identify how high or low it is and how long it lasts, but we can describe 
other features as well. One is the relative loudness or softness of a pitch, or dynamics. By convention, we 
use Italian terms to designate dynamics levels (see Table 2.2). 


TABLE 2.2 Dynamics Levels 


pianissimo PP very soft 
piano P soft 
mezzo piano mp half soft 
mezzo forte nf half loud 
forte E loud 
fortissimo SF very loud 





Like tempo markings, dynamics levels are not absolute. What one musician might hear as forte (loud), 
another musician might hear as mezzo piano (half soft) or mezzo forte (half loud). Sometimes changes in 
dynamics are abrupt—for instance, a sudden move from fortissimo (very loud) to piano (soft). 

Composers also have another option: changing dynamics by gradually increasing the sound (crescendo) 
or gradually decreasing it (decrescendo, also diminuendo). And finally, some composers have pushed the 
outer limits of dynamics. For example, in the nineteenth century, Beethoven and Schubert occasionally 
called for triple forte (fff) to make a dramatic effect. By contrast, Russian composer Tchaikovsky notated a 
barely perceptible quintuple piano (ppppp), blurring the boundary between sound and silence. 


MAKING CONNECTIONS The Sound of Silence 


Modern American composer John Cage noted that music consists of two primary elements: sounds and 
silence. Although we might not think much about it, silence can play just as dynamic a role ina 
composition as does sound. Think back about the opening of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. The famous 
four-note motive—Dah-Dah-Dah-DUM!—is followed by a brief silence before being dramatically 
repeated a step lower. The silence is just as important as is the sound to the impact of the opening of this 
piece. Cage used the idea of composing with silence in his famous 1952 piece 4’33”. In its three 
movements, a pianist sits largely in silence, without touching the keys. The performance opens with the 
lid closing over the keyboard. Toward the end of each movement, the lid is opened and then closed 
again to mark the start of the next movement. Cage hoped to get his audience to listen intently to the 
silence that made up the performance itself, as well as to sounds that are occurring all the time all 
around us. He made the point that there truly is no such thing as “absolute” silence. 

The John Cage Trust has posted an iPhone app that enables anyone to create a version of 4'33” by 
recording ambient sounds and then uploading the composition. There are various versions available for 
listening at the official John Cage website. 


g) 
G 
The 4/33” app. 


check your KNOWLEDGE 2 


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2.1 





Rhythm, Meter, Texture, and Dynamics 


What are the differences between rhythm, tempo, and meter? 





Rhythm, Meter, Texture, and Dynamics 
What are the three primary types of musical textures, and what distinguishes them? 


2.3 





Rhythm, Meter, Texture, and Dynamics 


What are the three types of meter, and what distinguishes them? 





Rhythm, Meter, Texture, and Dynamics 


What is a chord, and what role does it play in harmony? 


2.5 
FL 


Chapter 2 Quiz 


CHAPTER 
a 
Timbre, Instruments, and Ensembles 


Discussions of music often focus on pitch, rhythm, and dynamics. But how a sound is produced also plays a 
vital role in our musical experiences. 


3.1 Timbre 


Timbre (also known as tone color) is the quality of sound that differentiates one instrument from another. 
Several variables can affect it, such as the size and material of the instrument and how the instrument is 
played—how loudly or softly and whether in a high or low register. Timbre is what enables us to distinguish 
the sweet sound of a violin from the wooden sound of a xylophone or the thud of a bass drum. A composer’s 
selection of a particular instrument can influence our perception of a piece in profound ways. In addition, 
blending different instruments together allows composers to explore a range of musical colors. 


CHAPTER 
a 
Timbre, Instruments, and Ensembles 


Discussions of music often focus on pitch, rhythm, and dynamics. But how a sound is produced also plays a 
vital role in our musical experiences. 


3.2 The Voice 


The human voice is the most common musical instrument. Its individual qualities are determined by the 
vocal chords, a pair of mucous membranes folded within the throat. Every person’s vocal chords are 
uniquely formed in terms of shape, thickness, and other features. When we sing, air from the lungs, acting as 
a bellows, flows through the vocal chords, causing them to vibrate. The resulting musical sound is then 
shaped by the throat, mouth, and nose. The range of pitches each voice can produce is determined by the 
tension of the vocal chords: the looser they are, the lower the pitch; the tauter they are, the higher. 

We classify vocal ranges into the following categories, from highest to lowest: 


Women: soprano, mezzo soprano, alto (contralto) 
Men: tenor, baritone, bass 


3.3 The Family of Musical Instruments 


Over the centuries, composers have written music for many different instruments, each with its own timbre. 
There are different systems for classifying Western instruments, though a common one organizes them into 
five groups: 


1) Idiophones are made of solid materials that produce sounds when struck, rubbed, or shaken. Among 
them are the cymbal, gong, and xylophone. 

2) Membranophones are instruments with tautly stretched membranes that vibrate to produce sounds. 
Examples include the timpani (kettledrums), bass drum, and snare drum. 

3) Aerophones are instruments that use columns of air to produce sounds. This group includes wind 
and brass instruments (e.g., the flute, trumpet, and trombone) and the organ. Some aerophones have 
reeds, strips of pliable cane, set into the mouthpiece (e.g., saxophone, clarinet, oboe). 

4) Chordophones are instruments with strings. Among them are the guitar, harp, violin, and piano. 

5) Electrophones are instruments that generate sound electronically. Examples include the modern 
electronic organ, synthesizers, and computer programs. 


These five divisions are not perfect. A piano has strings that are struck by hammers, and so, technically, it 
combines aspects of idiophones and chordophones. An electric guitar uses electricity to amplify its sound but 
generally is considered a chordophone. 

A second system for classifying common Western instruments divides them into four basic categories 
(Figure 3.1): 


Category Examples 


//\|\ 


Woodwinds 











piccolo flute clarinet oboe bassoon 
Brass ¢ 
° 
<a trombone 
trumpet French horn tuba 
Strings 
violin viola cello double bass harp 
Percussion tom-tom cymbal 
BESEEEESIER SY 
glockenspiel 





: congas 
> 
: bass drum * 
drum kit timpani xylophone 
/ ‘ e) 
—_— SS 


steel drum maracas castanets triangle tambourine 





FIG 3.1 Common Western instruments by group. 


Scroll down for demonstration videos. 


Video 3.1: Discussion and demonstration of the piccolo by Cynthia Meyers of the Boston Symphony 
Orchestra 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. | 








~ 


*= 
My name is Cindy Meyers, and | play the piccolo 


CYNTHIA MEYERS 


BSO PICCOLO 


fd) |#er |e 


Speed: 1x Paused 

















Video 3.2: Discussion and demonstration of the flute by Cynthia Meyers of the Boston Symphony 
Orchestra 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. | 




















My name is Cindy Meyers, 


Bd 


CYNTHIA MEYERS 


BSO PICCOLO 


fd) | fer |e 


Speed: 1x Paused 

















, 


Video 3.3: Discussion and demonstration of the clarinet by Tom Martin of the Boston Symphony 
Orchestra 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. | 


TOM MARTIN 


BSO CLARINET 


rC«D (ec) geo’ 


0:00/ 4:05 Speed: 1x 


Paused 





Video 3.4: Discussion and demonstration of the oboe by John Ferrillo of the Boston Symphony 
Orchestra 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. | 


Hello, I'm John Ferrillo.| 


- 


JOHN FERRILLO 


BSO PRINCIPAL OBOE 


ElD) | fer |/o2© 


| 0:00 / 4:08 Speed: 1x Paused 





Video 3.5: Discussion and demonstration of the bassoon by Suzanne Nelson of the Boston Symphony 
Orchestra 


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SUZANNE NELSEN 


BSO BASSOON 


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Video 3.6: Discussion and demonstration of the trumpet trombone by Michael Martin of the Boston 
Symphony Orchestra 


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I'm Michael Martin, I'm Third Utility Trumpet, 


MICHAEL *MARTIN 


BSO TRUMPET 


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Video 3.7: Discussion and demonstration of the French horn by James Sommerville of the Boston 
Symphony Orchestra 


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JAMES MR. AVIDLE 


BSO PRINCIPAL FRENCH HORN 


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Video 3.8: Discussion and demonstration of the bass trombone by James Markey of the Boston 
Symphony Orchestra 


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JAMES MARKEY 


BSO BASS TROMBONE 


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Video 3.9: Discussion and demonstration of the tuba by Mike Roylance of the Boston Symphony 
Orchestra 


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~~ 


Hi, I'm Mike Roylance. 


MIKE ROY 


LANGE 


BSO PRINCIPAL TUBA 


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Video 3.10: Discussion and demonstration of the violin by Elita Kang of the Boston Symphony 
Orchestra 


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My name is Elita Kang, and | am the assistant 


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| BSO VIOLIN -ASSISTANT CONGERTMASTER 


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Video 3.11: Discussion and demonstration of the viola by Cathy Basrak of the Boston Symphony 
Orchestra 


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My name is Cathy Basrak, and | am the 


CATHY BASRAK 


BSO ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL VIOLA 


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Video 3.12: Discussion and demonstration of the cello by Owen Young of the Boston Symphony 
Orchestra 


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- . 4 
My name is Owen Young 


OWEN YOUNG _ 


BSO CELLO 





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Video 3.13: Discussion and demonstration of the double bass by Todd Seeber of the Boston Symphony 
Orchestra 


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a 
My name is Todd Seeber 


7 


TODD SEEBER 


BSO DOUBLE BASS 


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Video 3.14: Discussion and demonstration of the harp by Jessica Zhou of the Boston Symphony 
Orchestra 


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JESSICA ZHOU 


BSO HARP 


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Video 3.15: Discussion and demonstration of percussion instruments by Daniel Bauch of the Boston 
Symphony Orchestra 


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1) The woodwinds are aerophones, many of which are constructed of wood. The most common include 
the flute and piccolo (which, before the twentieth century, were constructed of wood instead of 
metal), oboe and English horn, clarinet and bass clarinet, and bassoon and contrabassoon. 

2) Brass instruments are aerophones made of metal. The most common include the trumpet, French 
horn, trombone, and tuba. 

3) The string instruments are chordophones that include the violin, viola, cello, and double bass (also 
known as the string bass or contrabass). 

4) The percussion group is made up of membranophones and idiophones, including instruments that 
produce distinct pitches—for example, timpani, xylophone, and tubular bells—and instruments that 
produce indefinite sounds—for example, cymbals, gongs, and triangle. 


Note that a piano could be classified as either a string or a percussion instrument. 

Finally, we may conveniently compare instruments according to their range—that is, how high or low 
they play. The lowest sounding instruments include the contrabassoon, a woodwind instrument that can 
match the lowest pitches of the piano. At the other extreme is the piccolo, whose piercing high range 
matches the high pitches of the piano. 


3.4 Musical Ensembles 


Whether classical, jazz, rock, or another popular form, music can be written for singers, instrumentalists, or 
combinations of both. Of course, the number of musicians involved can range considerably, from a single 
soloist to an orchestra, or to a combined orchestra and chorus with hundreds of musicians. Many types of 
ensembles, or groups of musicians, lie between these extremes, and many are common to specific historical 
periods. For example, the modern orchestra did not develop until the eighteenth century, and it has continued 
to evolve since then. Similarly, music for solo piano became common in the second half of the eighteenth 
century, with the spread of the instrument at that time in Europe and then the Americas. 


INSTRUMENTAL ENSEMBLES 


Here we will review the basic types of ensembles used in Western music, some dating back to the Middle 
Ages, others established in more recent times. Parts II through VII of this book provide a historical survey 
that will help you appreciate how and when these types of ensembles developed. For now, though, we will 
describe some common examples in classical music. This introduction starts with the simplest and moves to 
the more complex, and we will conclude by briefly considering the use of ensembles in non-classical music. 

If a piece is composed for a single instrument, it is designated as so/o (e.g., solo piano or solo violin). If 
it is composed for multiple instruments, the title may indicate how many. Thus, we speak of a duo (two), trio 
(three), quartet (four), quintet (five), sextet (six), septet (seven), octet (eight), and even a nonet (for nine 
musicians). Generally, compositions for nine or fewer musicians belong to the category of chamber music, 
which ideally is performed in relatively small, intimate halls or settings. 





Julliard String Quartet. 


For ensembles with ten or more instruments, we use terms such as chamber orchestra (for smaller 
ensembles) or orchestra (as in a larger symphony orchestra). Depending on the number of musicians, 
orchestral music generally requires a larger performing space such as a concert hall. To coordinate the 
musicians and help interpret the music, a conductor directs, usually with a baton, marking off the beats of 
the music. A full classical orchestra employs groups of woodwind, brass, percussion, and string players, 
though composers also write for orchestras featuring wind players (without strings), or, conversely, for string 
orchestra (without winds). 

Originally, there was no fixed number of instruments in an orchestra or how they were arranged on the 
stage. However, over the centuries, a formal arrangement of the instruments has developed, as shown in 
Figure 3.2. The strings—as the lead instruments that often carry the melody—are most prominently featured. 


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Moscow Symphony Orchestra. 


Finally, a familiar American institution is the marching band, typically consisting of wind and percussion 
players who march at athletic events and play in parades. They are a throwback to an earlier era in which 
bands had a military purpose, such as in the American Civil War. These bands represent the age-old idea that 
music could instill courage in soldiers entering combat. 


VOCAL ENSEMBLES 


In the case of vocal music, composers can write for solo voice (i.e., unaccompanied voice), or for a singer 
accompanied by an instrument or instrumental ensemble. The most common pairing is a singer accompanied 
by a piano in a performance of a song. Vocal ensembles can be identified as duos, trios, quartets, and so on, 
depending on the number of soloists involved. 

If the composer requires a larger group of singers, we refer to a chorus, typically consisting of female 
and male musicians divided according to their range into parts for soprano, alto, tenor, and bass (designated 
as S, A, T, and B). Choral music can also be written for a female chorus (S, A), or male chorus (T, B). If the 
chorus is relatively small, we may refer to it as a choir, often associated with sacred music for a church 
service. 





A chorus performs at Lincoln Center in New York. 


MIXED ENSEMBLES 


Some compositions join together vocal and instrumental musicians, such as a chorus performing together 
with an orchestra. Non-classical music often mixes soloists and ensembles as well. For instance, jazz settings 
can range from the intimate (e.g., trio, quartet, quintet) to a larger group comprising a jazz band or orchestra. 
Jazz ensembles generally divide into a reed section (saxophones, clarinets), a brass section (trumpets, 
trombones), and a rhythm section (percussion, piano, string bass, guitar). In the age of the “big bands” of the 
1930s and 1940s, these ensembles could reach twenty or so musicians. Rock music, on the other hand, tends 
to use smaller ensembles, with amplified guitars, percussion, and synthesized keyboard. 

The size and composition of an ensemble have a powerful effect on our perception of the music. In 
general, if an orchestra or larger band of musicians is involved, we tend to view the music being performed 
as a Shared social experience, and we relate to the musicians as a group. If, on the other hand, the ensemble 
is small, we tend to focus more on the individual musicians, and we may identify with the music in a more 
personal way. 





(a) Large orchestra and chorus; (b) Count Basie and his big band; (c) the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show. 


3.5 Benjamin Britten, The Young Person’s Guide to the 
Orchestra (1946) 


The English composer Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) wrote The Young Person’ Guide to the Orchestra in 
1946 to showcase the instruments of the modern orchestra. Suitable for music lovers of all ages, this 
impressive work offers an opportunity to compare the timbres of instruments. It is organized into the four 
main divisions of the orchestra: woodwinds, brass, strings, and percussion (Listening Map 1). 

The work begins with a stately theme borrowed from a seventeenth-century English composer, Henry 
Purcell (ca. 1659-1695; see also p. 136). First the entire orchestra presents the theme, with the four groups 
blended together. Still, it is possible to pick out the colors and timbres of individual instruments: the tapping 
of the snare drum, the brittle strokes of the xylophone, and the shrill tones of the piccolo, for instance. 

Next, Britten separates the four groups, allowing Purcell’s theme to emerge first in a woodwind choir, 
then in the brass, strings, and percussion. Rounding out this section of the Guide is another repetition of the 
theme for full orchestra. 

Britten devotes the heart of the composition to a series of thirteen variations on the theme, each one 
tailor-made for a different instrument or instrumental group. The variations feature first the woodwinds, then 
strings, brass, and percussion. He uses different timbres to vary the melody. (Variations are a way of altering 
some aspect of the theme while retaining other features. Chapters 17, pp. 107-09, and 30, p. 224, will 
discuss theme and variations as a form.) 

After having disassembled the orchestra into its constituent parts, Britten reverses course for the 
conclusion of the piece. He chooses a Baroque form known as a fugue (see p. 155), in which the parts enter 
individually to build layers of complexity gradually. To help us find our way, Britten retraces the order of 
instruments that we have already heard in the thirteen variations: woodwinds, strings, brass, and percussion. 
Finally, he revives Purcell’s original theme in the brass, bringing the composition to a trrumphant conclusion. 


Q LISTENING MAP I 


BENJAMIN BRITTEN, Jie Young Persons Guide to the 


Orchestra 
{1946} 


AUDIO: The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra 


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Orchestral work | 





Stately, dance-like 
Full orchestra 


The Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra showcases the basic timbres and ranges of the 
instruments, as well as the role each plays within the full orchestra. It was originally composed for 
use in an educational film but has since become a favorite in the concert hall. Written in three parts 
—an introduction, variations by instrumental group, and a concluding fugue—the work highlights 
the four major sections of the orchestra. 





Q why to LISTEN 


Besides its educational value, The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra is a stirring composition. By 
borrowing his theme from the seventeenth-century British composer Henry Purcell, Britten was paying 
homage to an earlier period of British history. This piece was composed just as World War II was ending, 
when Britain was emerging from a long battle against the forces of Nazi Germany. The Young Persons 
Guide is thus both an instructive work and a tribute to the endurance of British culture. 


Q first LISTEN 


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A Instructions 


e Click or tap ona section for immediate playback. Click or tap again on that section to pause; cl 
e Hover over the gray bar to cue to a specific time; click or tap to start playing from that spot. (Tt 
tablets or mobile devices) 





00:00 1.58 13.48 


Q a deeper LISTEN 


TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 


0:00 Part 1: Theme (by Henry Purcell), Full Orchestra 
stated by the full orchestra rogdeade 
Brass 
Strings 
Percussion 


Full Orchestra 
Q 


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content. ] 


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1:58 Part 2: Variations on Purcell’s Woodwind variations 
nea: 1. Flutes and piccolo 
2. Oboes 
3. Clarinets 


4. Bassoons 
Brass variations 

10. French horns 

11. Trumpets 

12. Trombones and tuba 
String variations 

5. Violins 

6. Violas 

7. Cellos 

8. Double bass 


Q Harn 


L 


Percussion, extended variation 


13. Timpani, bass drum, cymbals, tambourine, triangle, snare drum, 
wood block, xylophone, castanets, gong, whip 

13:48 Part 3: Fugue Rapid entrances of Britten’s fugal theme in the same order as 
variations 1-13 


Q 


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content. ] 


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Reintroduction of Purcell’s theme in the brass, set against the fugue 


check your KNOWLEDGE 3 


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3.1 


Timbre, Instruments, and Ensembles 
What is timbre, and why is it important to our understanding of music? 





Timbre, Instruments, and Ensembles 


What are two common ways of classifying musical instruments? 





Timbre, Instruments, and Ensembles 


What is your favorite instrument, and why? How would you describe its range? 


3.4 





Timbre, Instruments, and Ensembles 


How do ensembles differ in classical music from jazz or rock? In what ways are they similar? 


Q 
Chapter 3 Quiz 


CHAPTER 


4 


Musical Form 


In Chapters 1-3, we examined the basic concepts of pitch, rhythm, dynamics, and timbre, essential facets of 
music. Now we broaden our introduction to take up the question of form, the overarching plan that holds a 
piece together. Music flows over time, and when we look at a notated score, we can see the shape of what 
occurs during a performance. 

To grasp the concept of form, it may help to think of its function in the visual arts. A painting, for 
example, may have compositional patterns that give it structure. A building may have a recognizable plan 
with repeating patterns, especially evident in blueprints. Musical form is similar. In fact, architects 
commonly use terms borrowed from music to describe the formal features of their buildings, such as rhythm, 
dynamics, or harmony. The German poet Goethe also made the connection by describing architecture as 
“frozen music.” 

There are many different forms used in music, and later in the book we will describe the most important 
ones in detail. Here, we will simply introduce some basic principles of how Western composers have used 
form to unify and shape their music. 


4.1 Binary and Ternary Form 


One way to think about musical form is as a compromise between the competing needs of unity and variety. 
Obviously, if a composition consisted of just one chord repeated endlessly, unity would be achieved, but we 
would find the music boring. On the other hand, if the composition consisted of different chords seemingly 
chosen at random, the need for variety would be met, but the music would be chaotic. Musical forms have 
thus developed largely to strike a balance between these two needs. So a composition using a particular 
musical form will typically have certain elements that return (e.g., a theme, a series of harmonies, a passage 
of several measures) according to some plan. Form gives the work a unified shape while offering sufficient 
variety to maintain our interest. 

We can demonstrate the balancing of unity and variety with a few examples. In binary form, usually 
represented using capital letters in its simplest version as 4B, we encounter two different sections of music 
(Fig. 4.1). There may be some similarities between the two, but essentially our brain processes the music as 
dividing into two portions, roughly of equal weight, A and B. To make the form especially clear, composers 
often repeat each section, resulting in AA BB, or, using what are called repeat marks, — |: 4:] B:]. 


b-E-BE-E 


MAKING CONNECTIONS Musical Form in Architecture and Painting 


FIG 4.1 Binary form. 





Two architects of the Italian Renaissance, Leon Battista Alberti (1404—1472) and Andrea Palladio 
(1508-1580), were famous for their use of musical proportions. In the fifteenth century, Alberti 
regarded musicians as “masters of numbers.” He wrote a treatise on architecture in which he used the 
ratios of consonant musical intervals to establish proportions for physical spaces. In the sixteenth 
century, Andrea Palladio produced a treatise identifying seven of the “most harmonious” proportions to 
be used in constructing rooms. Several of these proportions aligned with Pythagorean ratios that the 
ancient Greeks had used to understand music (see Chapter 1). 





One of Palladio’s Italian villas. Note how the play of arches and classical columns creates a balanced, proportioned 
design. 


We also see echoes of musical form in painting. For example, the twentieth-century French artist 
Georaes Rranne craated a cariac af wrorko attamntina tan dAictill the accanrca af mucical otruictira in xional 


terms. To give texture to his vision, he added bits of paper, cardboard, and other objects to painted 
canvases. 





Braque, Musical Forms, 1918. 


In ternary form, there are three sections, of which the third is a repetition, either exact or modified, of 
the first. Ternary form is represented as ABA, or, if the second statement of A is modified somewhat, ABA’. 
This is a symmetrical, balanced form, but it has variety, owing to the placing of a new section, B, in its 


center. 


FIG 4.2 Ternary form. 


4.2 Theme and Variations 


Yet another example of a common form in Western music is theme and variations (Fig. 4.3). Here the 
unifying element is the theme, presented at the beginning of the composition, and sometimes repeated at the 
end, as if completing a musical circle. The variations (there can be as many as the composer decides) provide 
the variety by altering details or some aspect of the theme, such as its melodic shape, rhythm, meter, or 
harmonic accompaniment. Different composers will treat the art of variation differently. Some adhere rather 
closely to the theme, emphasizing its unifying aspect, while others may take us further and further away 
from it, satisfying our need for diversity. 


me] [Re] [tea] [we 


FIG 4.3 Theme-and-variations form. 


check your KNOWLEDGE 4 


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4.1 


r 











Musical Forms 


What is form, and how does it function in different arts? 








4.2 





Musical Forms 


What basic principle underlies musical form? 





Musical Forms 
Compare and contrast binary form, ternary form, and theme and variations. 


P 


Chapter 4 Quiz 


CHAPTER 
= 
Learning How to Listen 


Much of the music we listen to today is part of a long tradition stretching back centuries. To demonstrate 
some common principles of how to listen to music, we offer a contemporary choice, and then walk you 
through a sample listening map. 


5.1 Listening to Hamilton, “My Shot” 


Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit musical Hamilton exploded onto Broadway in 2015, captivating diverse audiences 
and garnering widespread critical acclaim. It received eleven Tony awards and a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 
2016. Its subject is Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804), a founding father of the United States who served as 
the first Secretary of the Treasury under George Washington. Why has this chapter from early U.S. history, 
told in musical form, appealed so strongly to twenty-first century audiences? 





The cast of Hamilton. 


To help answer this question, we analyze the song “My Shot,” one of the most memorable in the musical. 
How does this composition create its effect? How should we listen to it? The considerations that follow— 
including context, style, and form—will be useful in approaching any piece of music, new or familiar. 


CONTEXT 


How does the context, the cultural and historical background against which a piece of music is composed or 
performed, influence our reaction to it? Hamilton makes a historical era—the period of the Revolutionary 
War, nearly 250 years ago—relevant to our contemporary concerns. Although the cast appears in period 
costumes, the score is based on rap musical styles, and the characters reflect and celebrate diversity in the 
United States. The cast features primarily African-American and Latinx actors, many of whom are women. 
The American Revolution becomes a metaphor for broader revolutionary change, an ongoing struggle that 
did not end with the ratification of the Constitution in 1788 but continues to this day. 


STYLE 


How does musical style influence our reaction to a performance? When we think of Broadway musicals as a 
category, a specific style comes to mind. We bring these expectations to each performance we attend. 

Part of what makes Hamilton so remarkable is that it takes a different approach. Miranda’s music draws 
from a variety of current popular musical styles. First and foremost is rap, which drives the drama forward 
with its persistent rhythmic patterns and infectious internal rhymes. We also experience elements of pop, 
rhythm and blues, and gospel music, as well as nods to traditional Broadway show tunes. Miranda’s musical 


choices relate Hamilton’s story to our own century. We experience—and hear—the drama through familiar 
styles of contemporary popular music. The music helps erase the historical divide separating us from 
Hamilton, an immigrant born on the small Caribbean island of Nevis. 


FORM 


Which structural elements of a musical composition do we recognize as familiar versus new? How does the 
overarching plan of a composition affect our listening experience? 

Songs like “My Shot” reveal their form as they are performed. After listening through once or twice, we 
recognize that the opening lines—“I am not throwing away my shot, I am not throwing away my shot! Hey 
yo, I’m just like my country, I’m young, scrappy and hungry, and I’m not throwing away my shot!”—serve 
as a refrain, a part that periodically returns over the course of the piece (in this case, three times). This refrain 
becomes a point of reference for us as listeners—something that helps us follow the flow of music and lyrics. 
Between the four statements of the refrain, we hear new texts, most of it delivered by Hamilton. While these 
usually focus on Hamilton or briefly place another character in the limelight, they sometimes bring the entire 
ensemble together. 

A rising bass line (the lowest sounding part of the music) pattern and chords (multiple notes played 
together) accompany these lines. This bass line pattern, which takes about ten seconds, is repeated no fewer 
than twenty-nine times throughout “My Shot.” It provides the foundation, the constant, unifying element in 
the score, above which the cast raps and sings through a breathtaking series of variations. 

The music follows a clear form, alternating between the fixed refrain and the more freely conceived 
variations. Each time we hear the refrain, it brings us back to the opening. The variations then impress us as 
departures that advance the drama, creating the sensation of churning, turning music—of revolution. 


5.2 Mapping the Listening Experience 


How can we visually represent the experience of watching or listening to “My Shot’? Creating an analysis 
will help deepen our appreciation of the piece when we listen to it again. One useful exercise is to break 
down listening experiences into a format we call a listening map, moving from the big picture to the details. 
Throughout the book this format will help you approach the major pieces of music we will discuss. 


OVERVIEW TABLE 


We can begin by capturing the piece’s basic form, noting how the song is performed (e.g., the vocal style, the 
accompanying instruments), and providing a short overview of the context. The form of “My Shot,” as 
we ve seen, features a repeated refrain (“I’m not throwing away ...”) contrasted with individual verses. The 
vocalists primarily recite the lyrics—using the rap style—with occasional sung melodies interspersed. The 
accompaniment emphasizes the rhythm with a repeating bass line. We can summarize this type of 
information in a simple chart, highlighting key elements to guide our listening. 


>) LISTENING MAP 2 


LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA, Hamilton “My Shot” 
{2015} 


<)) 


“My Shot” 


Verse-refrain 


Speech-like sections (“rapped”) with occasional sung sections 


Emphasis on rhythm with a repeating bass line 


“My Shot” introduces the story of Alexander Hamilton and his role in the founding of the 
United States. The memorable refrain establishes the theme of self-determination that 
Hamilton conveys through its powerful, diverse cast and music. By using rap to tell this 
250-year-old story, “My Shot” establishes a unique blend of history relevant to issues of 
the twenty-first century. 





() why to LISTEN 


The next step in mapping our listening experience is to explain what is most special about the piece. Why 
should you or others listen? This section makes the case for the importance of each musical work we will 
study. What could we say about “My Shot’? Here’s one possibility: 


From its beginnings in New York City block parties of the early 1970s, rap has celebrated the 
experiences of immigrants and people of color living in the United States. Alexander Hamilton 
was himself an orphan immigrant who moved to New York from the West Indies, and many of 
the social issues he experienced in the eighteenth century remain relevant today. “My Shot” uses 
elements of rap—energetic, chanted vocals, a heavy rhythmic beat, a repeating bass line—to 
bring a centuries-old drama to life. It revolutionizes how we view both rap and Broadway 
musicals, and it opens our minds to new ways of telling the American story. 


(>» first LISTEN 


Now that we’ve addressed the basic format of the piece and why we might enjoy listening to it, we take two 
snapshots of its structure. The “First Listen” offers a brief guide to recognizing the different parts of the 
composition. This is useful before you even listen to a piece, as it helps give you a sense of the overall 
structure and what to expect. 





0:00 0:10 1:14 1:36 2:50 3:11 3:53 4:57 
Sung: Rap: Sung: “I’m not Rap: Sung: Regular rhythm suspended; Rap: Six Refrain 
“‘T’mnot Seven4- throwing ...”; Seven4- “I’mnot vocalists sing “Whoa, whoa 4-line stated once 
throwing line repeated; ends line throwing _....”” followed by arepeated _ verses and then 
away verses with emphasized __ verses ie figure on the words “Rise joined by 
es “SHOT” repeated up” “Rise up” 
refrain in 
opposition 


«-) deeper LISTEN 





In the second snapshot, which we call “A Deeper Listen,” we include more details—elements of the melody, 
rhythm, harmony, and performance—that make each piece unique. Think of this “Deeper Listen” as a tour 
guide pointing out the highlights of each performance. The “Deeper Listen” is most useful when you have 
already listened to a piece at least once. In examples that contain notation, numbered callouts point to 
moments of specific interest. 





TIME NY Os UO) LISTEN FOR THIS 

0:00 I’m not throwing away ... 

0:10 I’ma [per Warner Music and OxfordDictionaries.com] get a scholarship ... 
(accompaniment on off beats) 

0:21 I’m a diamond in the rough ... (regular accompaniment) 

0:33 Every burden ... 

0:42 A-L-E-X... (break—emphasize each letter—verse length extended) 

0:49 A colony that ... 

0:53 Essentially ... 

1:03 “Enter me” ... 

1:14 I’m not throwing away ... 

1:25 Repeats; ends with dramatic emphasis on “SHOT!” 

1:36 I dream of life ... SHOT! 

1:47 Yo, I’m a tailor’s ... SHOT! 

1:57 We'll never truly be free ... SHOT! 

2:08 Geniuses, lower ... SHOT! (sparser accompaniment /plucked string responses) 

2:19 Burr, check what ... 

29 What are the odds ... (sparser accompaniment on second half of the verse) 

2:40 Oh, am I talking too loud ... (accompaniment becomes finger snaps) 

2:50 I’m not throwing away ... 

3:00 Repeats 


3:11 BREAK Whoa, whoa, whoa ... 


S77 
3:32 
3:43 
3:53 
4:04 
4:14 
4:26 
4:36 
4:47 
4.57 


5:07 
5:12 
5:18 
5:26 





Repeats 

Rise up ... 

Repeats 

I imagine death ... (just piano and percussion) 

See I never thought I’d live ... (strings enter) 

Scratch that ... (bass and drums enter; strings drop) 

And, if we win ... (strings return) 

I know the action ... (building tension in accompaniment—climbing chord progression) 
I’m past patiently ... (accompaniment broken up to emphasize off beats) 


I’m not throwing away ... 


Just bass and drums 
“Rise up”/“Take a Shot” 
And I’m not... 


Ultimately this process will help you build your listening skills, just like practicing a foreign language. 
As you study the listening maps in this book, consider how you would construct your own representation. 
These maps are meant to guide you, not define your experience. You could develop many different 
approaches of your own design, each one made meaningful by your individual experience and interpretation. 


check your KNOWLEDGE 5 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. | 


5.1 








5.2 


How to Listen 


How can the form of a piece of music emphasize its meaning? Explain using “My Shot" as an example 





How to Listen 


How does the context of a piece of music add to its significance? 


PP 


Chapter 5 Quiz 


PART I SUMMARY: THE ELEMENTS OF MUSIC 


¢ There are several different aspects of sound that composers manipulate in writing music, involving 
primarily pitch, rhythm, texture, dynamics, and timbre. 


¢ Pitch concerns the relative height of a musical sound, shown in Western music through a system 
of notation that uses notes to place pitches on a five-line staff. 


° Rhythm affects the duration of pitches. 

° Texture describes the relative thickness or complexity of the musical fabric. 

° Dynamics regulate the intensity of the sound (how loud, how soft). 
Timbre refers to the quality of the sound (what makes a piano sound like a piano, a trumpet like 
a trumpet, etc.). 


¢ In addition to these aspects, composers work with different musical forms, or blueprint-like plans, 
for unifying the music while providing variety. 


¢ Since the seventeenth century, most Western music has used a system known as tonality, based on 
the major and minor scales. It has also used three-note chords, or triads, built on the pitches of those 
scales. The study of chords and how to progress from one to another is known as harmony, the 
vertical aspect of music. The study of setting one musical line against another line is known as 
counterpoint, which emphasizes the horizontal aspect of music. 


¢ Music can be written for a soloist or a small group of soloists, or for larger ensembles such as an 
orchestra, band, or chorus. 


¢ Classical music is the general term used to describe Western art music from the medieval period to 
the present. 


° The distinction between classical and popular/traditional music that has been made in the past is 
no longer as commonly held today. Scholars have shown that classical composers have always 
borrowed from popular melodies, rhythms, and harmonies. In turn, popular music has been 
influenced by classical styles. 

¢ For convenience, the history of classical music has been divided into several major periods or eras. 

* The medieval and Renaissance periods (ca. 450—1450 and ca. 1450-1600). 

° The Baroque period (ca. 1600-1750). 

° The Classical era (ca. 1750-1800). 

* The Romantic period (nineteenth century). 

° The modern era (twentieth century). 

° Postmodernism (1970-today). 


¢ There is a difference between casually listening to music and listening attentively. 


* Attentive listening involves listening without any other distractions (such as searching the web 
or texting on your cell phone). 


° Attentive listening often requires that you listen to a piece more than once. 


* We can increase our pleasure from music by listening for the basic elements of melody, rhythm, 
and harmony, as well as by understanding a composition’s form. 


VEY TEDNAAC 


ABREAs 5B mw B4E ELV BY 


accent 
accidental 


Ge page 


— (or bar) 








Part: 1 Flashcards: The Elements of Music 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. | 





The Elements of Music 


1 of 119 Card(s) 


accent 





The Middle Ages 


All of creation is a song of praise to God. —HILDEGARD OF BINGEN 


7 


po el 


S72 a 


a | EET Fy Be, 


- 


Ce NN 


a aa 


re YK 





aw 
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ic 


Illuminated fourteenth-century chant manuscript. 


a 
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I 
wes = 


= 
2 





CHAPTER 6 
Origins of Medieval Music 


CHAPTER 7 
Music for the Christian Church 


CHAPTER 8 
Hildegard of Bingen 


CHAPTER 9 
Léonin and the Rise of Polyphony 


CHAPTER 10 
Secular Medieval Music 


CHAPTER 11 
Machaut and the Rise of Secular Polyphony 


GLOBAL CONNECTIONS Myanmar: Buddhist Chant and Ritual Music 


Early Western music sprang from the expanse of time known as the Middle Ages (or medieval era), roughly 
the fifth to the mid-fifteenth century. Renaissance thinkers looking back on this era saw it as one of 
stagnation, a wasteland separating classical antiquity from their own golden age. They dismissed the early 
medieval centuries, wracked by political instability and dire poverty, as the “Dark Ages.” Nor did they 
admire the later medieval centuries, termed “Gothic.” (The name derives from the Goths, marauding 
Germanic tribes who had periodically ravaged the Roman Empire from the third century on.) Today, 
however, historians view the Middle Ages more positively and recognize its contributions to Western 
culture. 





Aachen Cathedral in Germany, with Romanesque decoration. 


Why Listen to Medieval Music? 


Despite its remoteness, medieval music has retained a significant link to the present. Much of it was written 
for the Roman Catholic Church, to support early Christian worship. Working over centuries, anonymous 
musicians crafted thousands of sacred chants that endured in an unbroken, rich tradition. The practice of 


chanting—of singing texts to repeated melodic patterns—is common to several faiths and cultures, Western 
and non-Western. Its mesmerizing force and allure are something we understand today, whether celebrating a 
Mass, listening to Tibetan or Navajo chant, or participating in a crowd’s chant at a sports stadium. In 
medieval Christianity, chanting was a means of communicating sacred texts and transporting participants 
into a trance-like state. It could heighten spiritual awareness, including contemplation of the hereafter. 

This music was designed to influence the participants’ mindset, to direct their thoughts away from 
concerns of earthly life and toward heaven. Are there any similarities in today’s music? Consider these 
parallels: 


¢ The practice of chanting during meditation in Zen Buddhism 


* Centuries-old prayers and chants in other faiths, including Judaism and Islam, still performed at 
different times each day as part of religious observances 


¢ Any music used for personal meditation or to create a special atmosphere or personal space apart from 
the concerns of daily life 


Another reason to study medieval music is that it represents the first major step in the development of 
Western classical music. Even within the confines of the Middle Ages, we can see developments in music— 
for example, from single-note melodies to basic harmonies—critical to the course of Western music over the 
next centuries. Our current system of musical notation originated with medieval scribes notating melodies on 
parchment manuscripts. The story of how this music developed is worth tracing, and in the West it began in 
earnest during the Middle Ages. 





Strasbourg Cathedral, France. Constructed of sandstone between 1176 and 1439, this Gothic cathedral remains the tallest 
extant structure from the Middle Ages. 


Milestones of the Medieval Era 


The first major event marking the medieval era was the fall of the Roman Empire to a Germanic chieftain in 
476 CE. While the next few centuries remained politically unstable and chaotic, by the seventh and eighth 
centuries a Germanic tribe known as the Franks was consolidating its power. By the eighth and ninth 
centuries, the arts began to enjoy a vigorous revival. The powerful emperor of the Franks, Charlemagne (r. 
768-814), promoted literacy, though he was himself unable to write. In the tenth and eleventh centuries, the 
art of manuscript illustration (called i//umination) reached new heights. Monasteries and cathedrals arose in 
the Romanesque style, with massive walls and rounded arches. In the Gothic style (from the mid-twelfth to 
the early fifteenth century), the emphasis shifted to soaring arches, vaulted ceilings, and shimmering panels 
of stained glass. 

The late Middle Ages saw the chartering of the first European universities. Meanwhile, Christian 
philosophy drew on the ancient Greeks as well as the church fathers. And over all those centuries of cultural 
awakening, Western art music grew steadily more versatile and complex. 


Interactive Timeline: The Middle Ages 





Development of monophonic plainchant Hildegard of Bingen Rise of the motet and 
Ca. 400-Ca, 900 1098-1179 secular polyphony 
ny Ca, 1200-Ca. 1300 





es _(Clllcume 
Troubadours and trouvéres de Machaut 
Ca. 1100-Ca. 1200 1300-1377 


Emergence of 


early polyphony 
Ca. 800-Ca. 900 





Léonin, Notre Dame organum 


Ca. 1135-Ca. 1201 
ene: 





Machaut, 


Musical Works and Composers 





SSS 
© Anonymous, Puis qu’en oubli sui de vous 
Viderunt omnes Hildegard of Bingen, O viridissima virga Léonin, Viderunt omnes Co. 1365 
Co. 400s Ca. 1175 @ @ Ca. 1198 e 
400 600 1000 1200 1400 


(the Great) Crusades in the Holy Land 
590-604 Ca. 1075-Co. 1300 
el 





Fall of Rome, beginning of Dark Ages Romanesque architecture Onset of Black Death 
476 F ' Ca. 1000-Ca. 1200 1348 
‘s gph e 
SY TTY} ' 
Papacy of Gregory | pa i" 1 
é 





History and Culture 


Reign of Charlemagne Gothic architecture 
768-814 Ca. 1150-Ca. 1400 — 


CHAPTER 
= 
Learning How to Listen 


Much of the music we listen to today is part of a long tradition stretching back centuries. To demonstrate 
some common principles of how to listen to music, we offer a contemporary choice, and then walk you 
through a sample listening map. 


CHAPTER 


[ 6 \ 
\ ) 


% 


Origins of Medieval Music 


We know regrettably little about ancient Greek and Roman music. We do know, however, that the music of 
the Middle Ages owed a considerable debt to the music of antiquity, especially Greek music. Early medieval 
musicians borrowed from the Greeks three key ideas: 


1) The distinction between consonance and dissonance: This is the concept that certain musical intervals 
are fundamentally pleasing and stable (consonant), while others are harsh and unstable (dissonant). 

2) The “music of the spheres”: This is the idea that the stars and planets move in musical harmony, 
emitting inaudible humming that expresses simple mathematical ratios. 

3) The emotional and moral power of music: The philosopher Plato (fourth century BCE) was so 
concerned about the power of music that he permitted only certain types in his ideal city-state. Those 
he permitted included singing accompanied by the kithara, a harp-like instrument, or by the lyre, a 
tortoise shell with strings stretched across it. Plato and his contemporaries believed that some music 
could instill moderation or courage while other music promoted moral decline. 





This ancient Greek amphora (ca. 530 BCE) shows a musician playing a kithara, a lyre-like instrument with strings that were 
plucked. 


Ancient Greek and medieval music have several features in common. Like the Greeks, medieval 
musicians used scale-like arrangements of pitches, known as church modes, or simply modes, for 
constructing their melodies. Like Greek music, the earliest medieval music was monophonic, meaning that 
it featured a single line of music without supporting harmonies. Also like Greek music, early medieval 
compositions had no prescribed rhythms. 


Video 6.1: Modally Speaking. Larry Todd discusses modes, the scale-like building blocks of medieval music. Drawing on 
ancient Greek music, these modes predate the Western major and minor scales and were the basis of most Western music 
prior to the seventeenth century. 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. | 


= 


EI) D) | #wr|/owZ 


Speed: 1x Paused 





Much of our music today uses pitches generated from two scales, major and minor (see p. 15). Although 
they have been around for centuries, these scales were largely unfamiliar to medieval musicians, who used 
modes instead. Like our modern scales, modes (inherited from the ancient Greeks) consist of a stepwise 
succession of pitches that fill out an octave. But the makeup of each mode—its pattern of whole steps and 
half steps (see p. 16)—differs from the familiar patterns of the maior and minor scales. 


check your KNOWLEDGE 6 


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6.1 





Origins of Medieval Music 


Which concepts did medieval musicians adapt from Greek music theory? 





Origins of Medieval Music 


Which three features did early medieval music share with Greek music? 


P 


Chapter 6 Quiz 


CHAPTER 


Music for the Christian Church 


The bulk of medieval music has been lost. Illiteracy was then widespread, so most music was not preserved. 
But the Roman Catholic Church had a vested interest in spreading its sacred liturgy, or the texts and music 
used in worship. Much of the surviving music from the Middle Ages is notated church music with Latin 
texts. 

For a few centuries, this church music—known collectively as plainsong, plainchant, or simply chant 
—was passed down orally, perhaps with hand signals used as teaching aids. Then, sometime in the first half 
of the ninth century, innovation came in the form of neumes—dashes, dots, and curved, hook-like figures 
that could be used to represent musical tones. 

Scribes added these symbols above lines of text carefully copied onto manuscripts. This striking 
innovation captured the ethereal pitches of plainchant and revolutionized the transmission of the music. 





OTibaiee dea faut “rath” 
Pudge Ju * ae Ades Ao Ws 


ae ¥ 998 aye SVIvi Py 
Pa mdtcce’ nominiaus 
lab id~ 


ay narrabe 





nh)” ii wo 


Neumes from an early Western manuscript, placed above the text Jubilate Deo (“Praise God’). 





7.1 Gregorian Chant 


Around 600, Pope Gregory I (r. 590-604) began standardizing the liturgy and encouraging uniform practices 
in singing chant. According to legend, a divinely inspired Gregory notated the chant melodies himself. 
Medieval artists showed him copying this music as the dove of the Holy Spirit sang the sacred chants into his 
ear. In time, this authorized plainchant became known as Gregorian chant: 


¢ This music is not based on the major and minor scales familiar to us in classical and popular music, 
but on church modes. 


¢ In some chants, the musicians sing in unison (together), while in others they divide into two groups 
that alternate. In still others, known as responsorial, a soloist may alternate with the choir. 


¢ There are no recurring rhythmic patterns in Gregorian chant to help orient us in time. 
¢ There are no notated instruments blending with the human voice. 


¢ Without harmony, the chant, isolated as a single melodic strand, seems to float in and out of our 
consciousness, as if not of this time or place. 





Pope Gregory receiving divine inspiration from a dove. 


Slowly accumulating over several centuries, Gregorian chant originated in the rural monastic outposts that 
dotted Europe and the English Isles. This sacred music resounded too in the cathedrals that came to tower 
over new urban centers, including Paris, Milan, and Rome. Just as generations of anonymous artisans built 
the great medieval cathedrals, so generations of anonymous musicians created an enormous body of chants 
meant to endure. Like the Gothic cathedrals reaching toward the heavens, monophonic plainchants were 
intended as sonic sculptures that glorified God and transcended time. 


7.2 The Divine Office and the Mass 


In the Roman Catholic Church, the singing of plainchant supported two types of rituals: 


1) The Divine Office, which was an extended series of services, beginning about 4:00 a.m. and 
continuing at regular intervals throughout the day and evening. These services were practiced chiefly 
in monasteries and featured readings of Scriptures and prayers, in addition to singing of psalms, other 
Scriptures, and hymns. 

2) The Mass, which was celebrated in the morning, usually around 9:00 a.m. This complex ritual was, 
and is, the symbolic recreation of Christ’s Last Supper with the twelve apostles. Just as a priest and 
congregation do today, in the Middle Ages they would share consecrated bread and wine, the body 
and blood of Christ, in Holy Communion. Early on, this daily affirmation of faith became the most 
solemn, elaborate service of the church. 


The Mass consisted of readings from Scripture, prayers, and sung chants, divided into two types: 


1) The chants of the Proper, which changed from day to day and were sung to texts appropriate for the 
feast or saint being celebrated. (Thus, chants for Advent differ from those for St. Paul or Easter.) 
Many Proper chants are ornate and include portions intended for trained musicians. The main Proper 
chants in a Mass are the /ntroit(for the entry of the clergy), Gradual (usually psalm verses chanted on 
the steps, or gradus, of the altar), celebratory Alleluia (or, during Lent, a penitential Tract), Offertory 
(for the offering), and Communion. 

2) The chants of the Ordinary, which, by contrast, used the same texts from day to day. They include 
the Kyrie eleison (“Lord, have mercy”), Gloria in excelsis Deo (“Glory to God in the highest’), 
Credo (“I believe,” the creed, or profession of faith), Sanctus (“Holy, holy, holy Lord”), and Agnus 
Dei (“Lamb of God”). Ordinary chants are generally simpler than Proper chants. 


Table 7.1 summarizes the Proper and Ordinary chants and shows where they appear within the musical 
portions of the Mass. 


TABLE 7.1 Musical Portions of the Mass 






















(TEXTS CHANGE FROM DAY TO DAY, ACCORDING 
TO THE FEAST OR SAINT CELEBRATED) 


(TEXTS REMAIN THE 
SAME FROM DAY TO DAY) 


1. Introit 
2. Kyrie eleison 
3. Gloria 
4. Gradual 
5. Alleluia or Tract 
6. Credo 
7. Offertory 
8. Sanctus 
9. Agnus Dei 





10. Communion 


laken together, the Proper and Ordinary chants constituted the music tor the Mass. In this complex ritual, 
chanted music was woven together with the spoken prayers, petitions, Gospel readings, and other texts of the 


service. The Proper and Ordinary chants, along with those for the Divine Office, were compiled by medieval 
scribes in lavish chant books, where thousands of melodies were frozen in notation for all time. 


7.3 Medieval Christmas Music: Viderunt omnes 


When we think of Christmas music today, we often think of Christmas carols as a familiar part of Western 
culture. We might hear them while attending a church service, while listening to a group of roving carolers, 
or while shopping at a mall. But while a few Christmas carols have old roots, the most popular ones 
originated much more recently. In the Middle Ages, the high point of celebrating Christmas would have been 
the Mass for Christmas Day, for which a substantial body of plainchant was gradually created. A good 
example of medieval Christmas music is the anonymous chant Viderunt omnes, which dates back to the fifth 
century (Listening Map 3). 

Not until the fourth century CE was Christmas observed on December 25, a date chosen in part to 
incorporate ancient Roman rituals recognizing the winter solstice. (Our tradition of Christmas lights has a 
remote connection to these early efforts to turn back the darkness.) Medieval Christmas traditions that we 
still recognize today include the yule log and nativity scenes. Medieval carols were often accompanied by 
dancing and merrymaking, both of which, however, were initially banned within the church. An elaborate 
liturgy evolved for the Mass on Christmas (which literally means “the Mass of Christ’”)}—so elaborate that 
three Masses were celebrated, at midnight, dawn, and during the day. 





Illuminated miniature showing a celebration of the Christmas Mass at the Sainte-Chapelle, Paris. 


Viderunt omnes was one of many chants specified to be sung at Christmas. It is an ornate example of a 
gradual, a Proper chant sung or recited between the Epistle and Gospel readings in the Mass. In what are 
known as melismas, several notes are sung to one syllable, often to reflect the meaning of the text( @, 

@ in the Deeper Listen that follows). To us today, the chant sounds exotic but distantly familiar. In part, 
that is because it uses an ancient mode, or scale, similar but not quite identical to our modern major or minor 
scales. 


>) LISTENING MAP 3 


ANONYMOUS, Viderunt omnes (“All the Ends of the Earth’’) 
{FIFTH CENTURY} 


AUDIO: Viderunt omnes 


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ABA (Respond-Verse-Respond 


Monophonic (voices alone) 
Plainchant (Gradual) 


The anonymous plainchant Viderunt omnes is a gradual designated for Mass on Christmas Day. It 
has three sections: 


1. Respond (A) 


2. Verse (B) 
3. Repeat of the Respond (A) 


The Respond and the Verse each begin with music for a soloist, answered by the choir. The overall 
form takes the symmetrical shape of ABA. 





() why to LISTEN 


Much of Viderunt omnes hovers around certain pitches. Still, the anonymous composer invested this text 
with a melodic subtlety that we can appreciate today. The chant focuses its hypnotic effect on a single 
melodic line: we hear pitches moving in succession, one after the other, with no competing harmonies or 
other lines of music. In this rarified musical world, individual pitches assume considerable significance. 
Sometimes the chant appears almost static. But sometimes it moves nimbly through a greater range, creating 
captivating soaring and swooping effects. 


( ) first LISTEN 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. | 





A Instructions 


e Click or tap onasection for immediate playback. Click or tap again on that section to pause; cl 


e Hover over the gray bar to cue to a specific time; click or tap to start playing from that spot. (Tt 
tablets or mobile devices) 


00:00 


€-) 4 deeper LISTEN 


TIME SECTION PERFORMER AND TEXT TRANSLATION 





0:00 Soloist: Viderunt omnes All the ends of the earth have seen 


@ Melisa on omnes 
Soloist 


oe oe 2 ~ ee Se ge a 
Vi-de-runt o - - - - - mines 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 





0:10 


1:07 


Verse 





Speed: 1x 


Choir: fines terrae salutare Dei nostri: jubilate the salvation of our Lord: Rejoice in the 
Deo omnis terra Lord, all the earth. 


Soloist: Notum fecit Do-mi-nus The Lord has made known 


(2) Mclisma on do 


Soloist 


- e« #& #£# wo oo eo ££ ~~ oe = 
> ————— : 


No - tum fe cil Do - 








[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 





1:40 Salutare suum: ante conspectum gentium His salvation: before the sight of nations. He 
revelavit [Choir:] justitiam suam. has revealed His justice. 

2:07 Soloist: Viderunt omnes (not in recording) 

check your KNOWLEDGE 7 


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7.1 





Music for the Christian Church 


How did Pope Gregory influence the development of chant? 


7.2 





Music for the Christian Church 
Why does Gregorian chant sound foreign to modern listeners? 





Music for the Christian Church 
Which Catholic rituals did plainchant support? 





Music for the Christian Church 


How do the Proper and Ordinary of the Mass differ? 


7. 


P 


Chapter 7 Quiz 


CHAPTER 


8 


Hildegard of Bingen 


We will never know who composed Viderunt omnes, nor, for that matter, the vast majority of Gregorian 
chant. Only a few names of musicians associated with Gregorian chant have come down to us. This was 
dedication to glorifying God, not to celebrating human artistic creativity. Authorship, which we take for 
granted, was then a largely uncelebrated concept. 

One extraordinary exception was Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), the founder of a convent on a gentle 
slope overlooking the Rhine River in what is now Germany. She was the tenth child of noble parents who 
offered their daughter to the church as a tithe, or “one tenth,” of their worldly possessions. At age fourteen 
she took vows and entered a convent, where Benedictine nuns educated her. 

Early in life Hildegard began experiencing ecstatic visions, later recorded in her writings and 
illustrations. One revealed God slaying the serpent Satan with a sword, another the abundant greenery of 
nature. In one particularly startling vision, flames descended from heaven, touched her in her monastic cell, 
and revealed to her the meaning of the Scriptures. Following this epiphany, Hildegard devoted herself 
primarily to writing poetry and music, composing nearly eighty chants. She also produced commentaries on 
natural history and medicine, as well as a morality play with music, about the Devil’s attempts to win a soul. 
Emperors and popes sought the advice of the versatile Hildegard, who became a celebrity in her own time. 
She preached sermons to large gatherings, one of the few women in the twelfth century to do so. 


Q 


Hildegard writes down her visions after being touched by a heavenly fire, watched by the monk Volmar. 


Hildegard’s interests ranged widely, from theology to poetry and the natural sciences. She wrote about 
issues of social justice, helping the poor, and mankind’s duty to preserve the natural world as part of God’s 
creation. All of these subjects resonated in a remarkable revival of her work late in the twentieth century, on 
the 900th anniversary of her birth. Her writings were widely translated and her music released on best-selling 
CDs. In her afterlife Hildegard came to appeal to a wide diversity of followers: mystics, feminists, and 
members of the New Age movement among them. 


Q 


Excerpts from Hildegard’s writings 


Hildegard described herself as a “feather floating on the breath of God” and offered her music as a 
medium for divine inspiration. An example of her art is O viridissima virga (Listening Map 4), a Proper 
chant for Masses in honor of the Virgin Mary. She describes Mary as a branch of the Tree of Jesse, which is 
a depiction of Christ’s ancestors. The subject was readily familiar to Hildegard through its widespread use in 
medieval art, including illuminated manuscripts, embroidery, paintings, and magnificent stained glass panels. 


Q LISTENING MAP 4 


HILDEGARD OF BINGEN, O viridissima virga (“‘O Greenest Branch’’) 
{TWELFTH CENTURY} 


AUDIO: O viridissima virga 


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ge |oo 


Speed: 1x molUlsi-r6| 


Filling her text with images of spring, Hildegard likens Christ to a “beautiful flower” in parched 
lands. The poem has seven sections, ranging from two to six lines of free verse. No two sections of 
music are alike; instead, fresh portions of chant accompany the changing poetic images. There is, 
however, one unifying musical device: each section of chant begins and ends on the same pitch 9, 
so that the music seems to sprout forth from a common source, like foliage from the Tree of Jesse. 
The music matches the shifting images by employing a simple, devotional style, with one or two 
pitches per syllable. Still, she does not miss occasional opportunities for melismas, as on ple- of 
plena (“full”; ©) and al- of altissimo (“in the highest”; ®). 





Q why to LISTEN 


Unlike the composers discussed in this book, Hildegard was unusual in the breadth of her interests—she was 
a poet, musician, composer, abbess, and prolific writer and illustrator. Such versatility was rare, indeed, in 
the twelfth or, for that matter, any century. The gift to write poetry is special, as is the gift to write music. 
When they are shared in one person, the results can be extraordinary. As you read Hildegard’s poem, and 
listen to her music, ask yourself whether her text may have inspired her music or vice versa. 


Q first LISTEN 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. | 


A Instructions 


e Click or tap ona section for immediate playback. Click or tap again on that section to pause; cl 


e Hover over the gray bar to cue to a specific time; click or tap to start playing from that spot. (Tt 


tablets or mobile devices) 





4:38 


Q a deeper LISTEN 





TIME VERSE LISTEN FOR THIS 

0:00 ® Sections of different 
lengths begin and end 
on same pitch 
Q 

0:39 

1:32 

2:11 4 2 Melisma on ple- 


(‘ full? ’) 


LYRICS 


O viridissima virga, ave quae in 
ventoso flabro sciscitationis 
sanctorum prodisti. 


Cum venit tempus, 

quod tu floruisti 

in ramis tuis, 

ave, ave sit tibi, 

quia calor solis in te sudavit 
sicut odor balsami. 


Nam in te floruit pulcher flos qui 
odorem dedit omnibus aromatibus 
quae arida erant. 


Et illa apparuerunt omnia in 
viriditate plena. 


TRANSLATION 


Hail, O greenest branch who 
sprang forth in the airy breezes of 
the saints’ inquiries. 


Since the time has come 

for you to flourish 

amidst your boughs, 

hail, hail to you, 

because the heat of the sun exuded 
from you like the aroma of balm. 


For a beautiful flower blossomed 
in you which gave a scent to all 
arid perfumes. 


And all those have appeared in 
their full greenery 


a eee 


2:36 Unde celi dederunt rorem super 
gramen 
et omnis terra leta facta est, 
quoniam viscera ipsius frumentum 
protulerunt 
et quoniam volucres celi 
nidos in ipsa habuerunt, 


Whence the skies gave dew on the 
pasture, 

and all the earth was made joyful, 
because her womb produced 
grain, 

and because the birds of the 
heaven 

have made their nests in her. 





3:46 6 Deinde facta est esca hominibus 
et gaudium magnum epulantium, 
inde, o suavis virgo, 
in te non deficit ullum gaudium. 


@ Melisma on al- Hec omnia Eva contempsit. 
Nunc autem laus sit altissimo. 





check your KNOWLEDGE 8 


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8.1 


Then the harvest was prepared for 
Man, 

and a great rejoicing of 
banqueters, 


whence, O sweet Virgin, 
no joy is lacking in you. 
All these things Eve dismissed. 


Now let praise be to you in the 
highest. 





Hildegard of Bingen 


How are melismas used in Viderunt omnes? 


8.2 





Hildegard of Bingen 


Why is Hildegard of Bingen so important in medieval music? 





Hildegard of Bingen 
What is the central metaphor in O viridissima virga? How does the musical setting reflect it? 





Hildegard of Bingen 
Compare Viderunt omnes and 0 viridissima virga. What do they share musically? How do they differ? 


Q 
Chapter 8 Quiz 


CHAPTER 


9 


Léonin and the Rise of Polyphony 


For much of the Middle Ages, monophony—having only a single melodic line—prevailed. But by the ninth 
century, a few centuries before Hildegard composed her visionary chants, a radically different type of music 
was developing. In polyphony (literally, “many voices”), multiple musical lines are heard simultaneously, so 
that they compete for our attention. It emerged in a few experimental centers of Gregorian chant in England, 
France, and Spain. The development of polyphony was arguably the decisive event in Western music history. 

The turn to polyphony during the Middle Ages opened up new terrains in Western music. By setting 
different musical lines against each other, composers began practicing the art of counterpoint (“note against 
note”; see p. 25). 

The origins of Western polyphony are obscure, and its first composers anonymous. We suspect that these 
composers were educated church clerics, because the new music required notation. By adding a second line 
to Gregorian chant, composers unlocked a pathway to a new musical dimension. Instead of considering 
music just as a succession of single pitches in time, one after the other, they now had to place pitches also 
heard vertically, at the same time. This posed a new challenge: to create music pleasing in harmony as well 
as in melody. 

As polyphony became more complex, there was a need to regulate the rhythms of the music, so that 
vertically sounding pitches could align in harmonies, or chords. No longer solely dependent on Gregorian 
chant, church musicians were now free to supplement chants with their own decorative musical lines. 

In the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, church polyphony, known as organum, coalesced into a 
vibrant style of music making centered in Paris. The city was undergoing a cultural awakening: during this 
era, the Sorbonne University was chartered, and the great Cathedral of Notre Dame (“Our Lady”’) was being 
built. The cornerstone of Notre Dame was laid in 1163, and construction continued into the fourteenth 
century. The impressive finished cathedral, where polyphony was performed, features a radiant rose window, 
twin towers, and gravity-defying flying buttresses. 

Early Notre Dame polyphony is attributed to the composer Léonin, described as the “best maker” of 
organum. Léonin lived from about 1135 to at least 1201 and was likely a priest and a poet as well as a 
composer. He gathered his compositions into a volume known as the Magnus liber, or Great Book. His 
successor, Perotin (active around 1200), also made significant contributions to polyphony. 

Léonin created polyphony for Proper chants, such as the anonymous Viderunt omnes, which we 
examined earlier. His contribution was to add a new part above the solo sections of chant sung at the 
beginnings of the Respond and Verse (review Listening Map 3). The other sections of chant were assigned 
to the choir and were sung as monophony, as they had been for centuries. The result thus combined the new 
with the old, alternating passages of ornate, two-part polyphony with bare, monophonic chant. 


Q 


Cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris (1163-—ca. 1350). (a) Side view, showing the flying buttresses. (b) Facade. In April 2019, fire 
consumed the spire and much of the roof. Plans are in preparation to restore the cathedral. 


MAKING CONNECTIONS Gothic Cathedrals and Polyphonic Architecture 





The twelfth century brought the building of great Gothic cathedrals, which rose like medieval 
skyscrapers to dominate the urban areas of Europe. Though named after the Goths—a Germanic tribe 


who had sacked Rome centuries before—the new architectural style was first established in northern 
French realms. In Paris, Pope Alexander III attended the laying of the cornerstone for Notre Dame in 
1163. 

Gothic cathedrals were feats of engineering, advanced by three innovations: 


1) the pointed arch, which redistributed weight so as seemingly to defy gravity; 
2) the flying buttress, which offered external support that allowed for taller buildings; and 
3) the ribbed vault, which required less structural support, allowing for more stained glass windows. 


As the seat (cathedra in Latin) of bishops, cathedrals were meant to represent the house of God on 
earth. 

Early on, cathedrals became centers of the new polyphony in music. Just as Gothic designs created 
dramatic vertical spaces, polyphony liberated a vertical harmonic dimension for musicians to explore. 
The relatively modest two-voiced experiments of Léonin in organum were soon replaced by the more 
ambitious compositions of his successor Pérotin. By the early thirteenth century Pérotin was adding two 
or three newly composed parts above the sacred plainchant. As this swirling new music filled the 
cavernous interior of Notre Dame in Paris, listeners must have felt that the very architecture was 
coming alive. 


Q 


Interior of Bamberg Cathedral, Germany, showing vaulted arch ceilings and pointed archways. 


Though we know little about Léonin’s life, the new type of Notre Dame polyphony he helped create 
changed Western music to its core. Now listeners received multiple channels of music at once, combining 
and separating in dynamic interplays of sounds. What had been relatively dull, gray tones were transformed 
into vibrant colors. 

Léonin’s setting of the opening Respond of Viderunt omnes (Listening Map 5) adds a new voice above 
the chant and displays two types of polyphony: 


* In the first type, the lower voice (a tenor, from the Latin for “hold”) holds the note of chant while the 
upper voice executes melodic flourishes. 


¢ In the second type (at the melisma on the o- of omnes), the tenor speeds up, approaching the pace of 
the upper voice. 


At the conclusion of omnes the upper and lower voices form a cadence, or close, a restful and consonant 
coming together. With this pause we reach the end of the solo (and hence the polyphonic) portion of the 
Respond. Now the fifth-century monophonic chant holds sway until the beginning of the Verse (not in the 
recording or diagram). At that point, Léonin’s animated polyphony again springs to life. 

As Léonin and other early composers of polyphony realized, the new style required a new system of 
rhythms and a way of notating them to keep the voices in sync. As you listen to the opening of Viderunt 
omnes, you will soon distinguish two rhythmic layers. The first is the slower-moving lower voice (the chant), 
which often holds individual pitches for several seconds. The second layer is the more agile upper voice, 
which generally moves in faster patterns of long and short pitches. Léonin’s music thus has a rhythmic 
dimension that adds another layer of complexity and satisfies our need to organize musical time. 


Q LISTENING MAP 5 


LEONIN, Firct Racnand From Vidorimt amnoeo¢ (“Al the Bndc af the Farth”) 


was ~p er a re Se 


{TWELFTH CENTURY} 


AUDIO: Viderunt omnes 


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Speed: 1x 


Polyphony alternating with monophony 
ABA (Respond-Verse-Respond); shown here is the opening Respond 


This brief excerpt from Léonin’s Viderunt omnes (the Respond, or first section) lasts only two 
minutes or so, but it neatly encapsulates several key features of Western art music. It begins in 
polyphony, with Léonin’s added voice above the chant (), and a second type of polyphony, in 
which the chant (in the lower voice) speeds up (®). The music then returns to the first type of 
polyphony (2) before shifting to monophony as the chant continues by itself (©). Listening gives 
us the opportunity to compare the enriched sounds of polyphony (in two types) with the unadorned 
strand of monophony. 





Q why to LISTEN 


This excerpt addresses a central concern of Western music: harmony. In adding a second voice to the chant, 
Léonin had to decide which intervals would sound simultaneously, and when. His choices reflected the 
preferences of medieval musicians for consonant intervals such as the octave, fifth, and fourth. 

But what makes this music special? Léonin did in the twelfth century what many Western composers and 
performers would later do across many centuries. He took some existing musical material—here a fifth- 
century chant, sanctioned by the Church—and added to it his own, new material, by placing over it an 
entirely new line of music. In a similar way, many classical composers and jazz musicians take a pre-existent 
theme and build their own compositions upon it. The paradoxical needs to compose freely, yet also to 
observe traditions and rules about how to compose, are a key element of Western music. In twelfth-century 
Notre Dame polyphony, we already have a glimpse of that process. 


Q first LISTEN 


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A Instructions 


e Click or tap onasection for immediate playback. Click or tap again on that section to pause; cl 


e Hover over the gray bar to cue to a specific time; click or tap to start playing from that spot. (Tt 
tablets or mobile devices) 





0:00 0:49 0:58 1:23 


Q a deeper LISTEN 


TIME TEXTURE LISTEN FOR THIS TEXT TRANSLATION 
0:00 (2 New upper part by Léonin, slow chant Vi- All the ends of the 
in lower voice (tenor) -de- earth have seen 


t) -runt 


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Speed: 1x 





0:49 Polyphony Q Melisma on o- of omnes; lower voice o- 
(second type) speeds up 
Q 


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Speed: 1x 


0:58 Polyphony Q Tenor returns to slow chant; cadence at -nes 
(first type) conclusion of omnes 





1:23 Q Choir sings rest of Respond in fines terrae salutare _ the salvation of our 
monophony Dei nostri Lord: 
jubilate Deo omnis _ Rejoice in the Lord, 
terra all the earth. 
check your KNOWLEDGE 9 


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9.1 





Léonin and the Rise of Polyphony 


Why was the development of polyphony so important in the history of Western music? 





Léonin and the Rise of Polyphony 


What is counterpoint, and what did it offer composers? 








9.3 





Léonin and the Rise of Polyphony 


How die Léonin transform the plainchant Viderunt omnes? 





Léonin and the Rise of Polyphony 
What are the two types of polyphony that Léonin used in Viderunt omnes? 


Q 
Chapter 9 Quiz 


CHAPTER 


Secular Medieval Music 


So far, we have been describing sacred music for worship. But music also flourished outside the cathedrals 
and monasteries: in aristocratic courts, in slowly forming urban centers, and in thinly populated rural 
expanses where workers tilled the fields. This music took the form of music for court occasions, secular love 
songs, and dances and other types of popular entertainment. All of this secular music was not as carefully 
preserved as sacred chant. Instead, it was largely transmitted by oral tradition or improvised as needed. Much 
of this music was sung, with or without instruments, but some—for example dance music—was intended for 
instruments alone. 





Medieval dance, as illustrated in an eleventh-century French manuscript. 


10.1 Musical Instruments 


An impressive variety of instruments contributed to medieval culture. There were plucked string instruments, 
including lutes, harps, early types of guitars, and psalteries, wooden sound boxes with stretched strings. 
Among bowed string instruments were fiddles that might have two to five or more strings, and rebecs, 
distinguished by their pear-shaped bodies. Wind instruments included relatively soft flutes and pipe-like 
recorders, but also piercing double-reed instruments (known as shawms). There were bagpipes, hurdy- 
gurdies (barrel organs), bells, cymbals, triangles, and drums. Some of these instruments were Arabic in 
origin. Introduced into Europe after the Moors invaded Spain in the eighth century, they were also later 
brought back by Crusaders returning from the Holy Land. 


Video: Early Musical Instruments. There has been a revival of interest in how early musical instruments sounded in 
performance. Students at the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University demonstrate the shawm, crumhorn, and 
early percussion instruments. 


Video 10.1: Discussion and demonstration of crumhorns by Andrew Broadwater, Jacob Lodico, Kevin 
Shannon, and Mark Cudek of the Peabody Conservatory 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. | 


Videos courtesy of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University 


Description and demonstration of crumhorns. 
Andrew Broad Lodico, crumhorns; 


Kevin Shannon, b Viark Cudck, long drum 


EID) |r#er|o2oh 


Speed: 1x melUlsi-r6| 





Video 10.2: Discussion and demonstration of early percussion instruments by Mark Cudek of the 
Peabody Conservatory 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. | 


Videos courtesy of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University 


Demonstration of some carly music percussion instruments 
by Mark Cudek, « ly Music department 


acd wervatory 


EID) | rer |o7 


Speed: 1x melUlsi-r6| 





Video 10.3: Discussion and demonstration of the shawm by Jacob Lodico of the Peabody Conservatory 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. | 


Videos courtesy of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University 


Demonstration of the shawm by Jacob Lodico, 


an Early Music abody Conservatory 


EID) | rer |o’7oh 


Speed: 1x melUlsi-r6| 





By far the most complex medieval instrument was the organ. Indeed, for centuries the organ was the 
most imposing mechanical device of any kind. In some cases, hardy assistants operated the bellows, 
generating such wind pressure that the organist had to strike the keys forcibly. Musicians also played much 
smaller organs that could be transported or held in one’s lap. 


Q 


A variety of medieval musical instruments. Real Monasterio de S. Lorenzo de El Escorial, B.I.2. (cddice de los musicos). 
Cantiga 170. Cantigas de Santa Maria. 


10.2 Secular Medieval Song 


Much secular vocal music from the Middle Ages was performed in European courts. The nobility lived in 

fortress-like castles where they observed a strict social code of behavior known as chivalry. This word 

brings to mind knights in shining armor—and in fact it derives from the French chevalier (knight). The code 

of chivalry promoted the virtues of honor, valor, and fidelity. Women were idealized as “noble damsels” 

according to the rules of courtly love, a medieval tradition of love between a knight and a noblewoman. 
Courtly love found creative outlets in two secular French repertories of the eleventh century: 


1) In the southern region of what is now France, poet-musicians called troubadours wrote epic poems 
and composed songs about the Crusades (military campaigns in the Holy Land supported by the 
Catholic Church from 1095 until 1272) and courtly love. Some troubadours were noblemen, while 
others were commoners. 


2) In the north, the troubadours’ counterparts were known as the trouvéres. Outside French realms, 
secular song took root in England, Italy, and Germany. 


Intro to Troubadours by Beatriz 


check your KNOWLEDGE 10 


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10.1 


Secular Medieval Music 


How was secular music different from music written for the church, and how did it develop? 








10.2 





Secular Medieval Music 


Where did secular song first develop, and who performed it? 


PP 


Chapter 10 Quiz 


CHAPTER 


11 


Machaut and the Rise of Secular 
Polyphony 


Polyphonic secular music was relatively late to emerge outside the church. It did so in a new thirteenth- 
century French genre known as the motet, a type of polyphony with some ties to the old Notre Dame 
organum. At first, poets simply took two-part sacred pieces and added new Latin or French texts to the upper 
part, while preserving the Latin chant in the tenor part. Increasingly, French became the preferred language 
in these compositions (motet derives from mot, French for “word’’), and the texts became more and more 
secular in tone. 

The new musical style, known as the Ars nova, or new art, became in the fourteenth century 
rhythmically quite complex and sophisticated. In contrast to the older style of Notre Dame polyphony, with 
its repetitive rhythmic patterns, the Ars nova explored independent rhythms in different voices. 

What began as an offshoot of the old Notre Dame polyphony now developed into an independent variety 
of secular polyphony outside the Church. Contributing to the new secular tone was the waning influence of 
the Catholic Church. Between 1309 and 1377, the papacy was centered not in Rome but in Avignon in 
southeastern France, where it fell under French influence. Then, between 1378 and 1417, a great schism (or 
break) followed as popes in Rome and “antipopes” in Avignon struggled for control. 

Meanwhile, large-scale events shook Europe. At mid-century, the Black Death, a pandemic bubonic 
plague, killed a third of the population. And for much of the fourteenth century and beyond, France and 
England fought the devastating Hundred Years’ War. 

By the fourteenth century, secular polyphony had spread far, from Paris to England and Italy. Its principal 
representative was Guillaume de Machaut (ca. 1300-1377), a court diplomat who served French and 
Bohemian kings. For many years, he worked as a cleric at the cathedral of Rheims in the Champagne district, 
some 100 miles east of Paris. 

Machaut produced a sizable quantity of music: all told, about 150 compositions. By far the most 
substantial is a polyphonic setting of the Ordinary of the Mass, which established a precedent for composers 
to follow for centuries. Most, though, are French secular works, including motets for three and four parts, 
and many love songs, known as chansons, in one, two, or three parts. 


Q 


Guillaume de Machaut writing music. 


As we observed in the case of Hildegard of Bingen, it is rare in Western history when a major composer 
was also a major poet. Guillaume de Machaut probably leads this short list. Renowned as the premier French 
poet of his time, he was admired by no less a figure than Geoffrey Chaucer, author of the Canterbury Tales. 
Machaut’s lyrics featured puns, references to contemporary events, and subtle, shifting metrical patterns. He 
wrote hundreds of poems, many of them in the trouvére tradition of courtly love, using the standard 
templates of medieval secular poetry. He also produced several long, narrative poems, some of which were 
interspersed with his love songs. All of his secular poetry was written in French, not Latin, which was 
reserved for the Church and for elevated literary styles. The turn to vernacular styles as legitimate outlets for 
literary works was a significant development in the later Middle Ages. 


Machaut set many of his poems to music, either as monophony, or as polyphony with two or three 
voices. His settings show an intimate relationship to his poems, so much that you might ask whether he was 
first a musician or a poet. 

Machaut’s secular love songs, such as Puis qu’en oubli sui de vous (Listening Map 6), afford a distinctly 
intimate view of his art. This type of chanson is known as a rondeau, which features a recurring refrain 
heard in its entirety at the beginning and end of the composition. The rondeau is thus circular in structure, as 
suggested by its derivation from the French word ronde, or round. 

Today, Machaut’s music sounds unfamiliar. Its melodies are angular, its harmonies jarring, and its 
jostling rhythms unpredictable. We miss our usual chords, with their mellow, sweet-sounding thirds. But 
only decades after Machaut’s death, English composers began introducing triads into their music. Exported 
to the Continent, this lush, new style revolutionized European music as the Middle Ages came to an end, and 
helped define the music of a new age: the Renaissance. 


Q LISTENING MAP 6 


GUILLAUME DE MACHAUT, Puis qu’en oubli sui de vous (“Since you have 


forgotten me’’) 
{CA. 1365} 


AUDIO: Puis qu’en oubli sui de vous 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. | 


ge | ao 


Speed: 1x Paused 


Three-part polyphony 
Rondeau: ABaAabAB 


The form of this song is ABaAabAB, where AB represents the refrain, and the lower-case a and b 
the same music set to new, rhyming lines of texts. The composition begins and ends with the same 
music and text, which comes to a full cadence on a consonant chord (©) and (®2), but for variety 
Machaut introduces new text for the third, fifth, and sixth lines. 





Q why to LISTEN 


Many of Machaut’s poems and musical settings dwell on love and its unpredictable course. Usually he 
presents his songs from a male point of view that either praises the female beloved or chastises her for 
fickleness. But in Puis qu’en oubli sui de vous, the perspective is turned, so that the poem and music support 
the perspective of a lady lamenting her lover’s disloyalty. 

This wistful chanson of a forsotten lover mav he at some level autohiosranhical Late in life Machant fell 
in love with a young noblewoman named Péronne, but their relationship was unfulfilled, as he wrote in a 
narrative poem. Pitched in a low, dark register, Machaut’s melody is supported by two lower parts. These 


mostly remain in the background but occasionally assert some independence by clashing harmonically or 
rhythmically with the melody. The means are simple, but the result is a poignant song that captures the 
human need to love, and to be loved. 


Q first LISTEN 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. | 





A Instructions 


e Click or tap onasection for immediate playback. Click or tap again on that section to pause; cl 
e Hover over the gray bar to cue to a specific time; click or tap to start playing from that spot. (Tt 


tablets or mobile devices) 





0:00 0:14 0:25 0:38 0:52 





1:17 1:31 


Q a deeper LISTEN 





TIME VERSE LISTEN FOR THIS LYRICS TRANSLATION 

0:00 Q Vocal part accompanied by two lower- Puis qu’en oubli sui de Since you have forgotten 
sounding instrumental parts vous dous amis, me, sweet friend, 
Q 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 





Speed: 1x 


ge V7 


Paused 





Icommend a life of love 


dieu commant. 


0:14 Vie amoureuse et joie a 
dieu commant. and joy to God. 

0:25 Mar vi le jour que I curse the day I placed 
m’amour en vous mis, my love with you, 

0:38 Puis qu’en oubli sui de Since you have forgotten 
vous dous amis, me, sweet friend, 

0:52 Mais ce tenray que je But I will keep what I 
vous ay promis, promised you, 

1:06 C'est que jamais n’aray That I will never have 
nul autre amant, another lover, 

1:17 Puis qu’en oubli sui de Since you have forgotten 
vous dous amis, me, sweet friend, 

1:31 Q All three parts come to a cadence ona Vie amoureuse et joiea I commend a life of love 


and joy to God. 


consonant chord 


check your KNOWLEDGE 11 
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11.1 





Machaut and the Rise of Secular Polyphony 


How did early secular polyphony develop? 





Machaut and the Rise of Secular Polyphony 
What distinguished Machaut's songs? 


Q 
Chapter 11 Quiz 


PART IT SUMMARY: THE MIDDLE AGES 


¢ Early Western music spans the Middle Ages, a long stretch of time from roughly the fifth to mid- 
fifteenth centuries. 


¢ Most surviving medieval music was intended for services of the Catholic Church, including the 
Divine Office, typically performed in monasteries, and the Mass. 


¢ The church developed Western musical notation to preserve thousands of sacred melodies sung to 
Latin texts, known as Gregorian chant, plainchant, or, simply, chant. These melodies were recorded 
in parchment manuscripts that were often lavishly illustrated. 


¢ Chant is monophonic, meaning that it has a single melodic line. 


¢ Around the ninth century, composers began adding extra lines of music to monophonic chant, 
producing early examples of polyphony. This development fundamentally changed the course of 
Western music. Composers of polyphony now had to conceive their music harmonically (vertically) 
as well as melodically (horizontally). 


¢ The discovery of polyphony led to improvements in notation, so that musicians could coordinate 
simultaneously sounding musical parts. 


¢ Outside the church, a tradition of monophonic and polyphonic music developed using secular 
instead of sacred texts. 


¢ Most composers of medieval music were anonymous; among the leading named composers were 
Hildegard of Bingen, Léonin, and Guillaume de Machaut. 


KEY TERMS 


Ars nova 
cadence 
chanson 
chant 
chivalry 
chord 

church modes 
consonant 
counterpoint 
courtly love 
dissonant 
Divine Office 
gradual 
Gregorian chant 
liturgy 

Mass 


melisma 

mode 

monophony (monophonic) 
motet 

neume 

Ordinary 

organum 

plainchant (plainsong) 
polyphony (polyphonic) 
Proper 

responsorial 

rondeau 

troubadour 

trouvére 


KEY COMPOSERS 


Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) 


Léonin (ca. 1135-1201) 


Guillaume de Machaut (ca. 1300-1377) 


Part: 2 Flashcards: The Middle Ages 


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The Middle Ages 


1 of 29 Card(s) 


Ars Nova 


Myanmar: Buddhist Chant and Ritual Music 


INDIA CHINA 


MYANMAR 
vi 





Myanmar (formerly Burma), the western-most country in mainland Southeast Asia, is home to an ethnically 
diverse population that practices several different religions. One of those traditions is Buddhist chant and 
music for spirit possession ceremonies. 


Theravada Buddhism 


The type of Buddhism that is practiced in Myanmar is called Theravada. Known as “The Way of the Elders,” 
its name shows the reverence for tradition that distinguishes it from other forms of Buddhism. It uses texts 
written in the ancient Indian language of Pali. 


Chant 


Theravada Buddhist philosophy regards music as inappropriate to the habits of someone pursuing a religious 
life. While Buddhist chant may sound like “music,” it is often not referred to as such in the monasteries. 


Video: Pwe Festival 


A pwe is a name loosely applied to various festivals or events that incorporate music and dance. This video, 
filmed by Gavin Douglas, shows a portion of a local pagoda festival (paya pwe) that was filmed in Taunggyi, 
a small city in the highlands of Shan state in eastern Myanmar. 

In the first section of the video, we see Buddhist monks chanting inside the pagoda. Chant serves 
multiple purposes: as prayer, as meditation, and as a form of protection; it is also a mark of education and 
authority among the monks. While chanting may be done solo, it is usually conducted in a group. All 
participants follow the identical text, melody, and rhythm with no individual or distinct musical part. Rhythm 
is steady and often phrased around the line of text, pitch variety is usually quite limited, ornamentation is 
restricted, and the presentation of the text is very syllabic (i.e., one note per syllable). 

Next, a procession of seven musicians approaches the pagoda. They are members of the Pa-O ethnic 
group. Each musician holds a single gong, except for the last pair who hold a large gong slung between 
them. The steady, slow pulsation on the gongs (approximately 12 bpm), sets a contemplative tone and is 
soon joined by a set of cymbals improvising to the measured gong pulses. An elderly male dancer moves to 
the front of the procession, arms raised high and then alternately thrust in the air at each pulse. 

Midway through this performance, a loud clamor comes from the other side of the pagoda, seventy feet 
away. Faster pulses punched out by many gongs beating approximately 110 bpm herald an ethnic Shan 
ensemble playing for a pair of dancers engaged in a stylized martial arts routine. In addition to ten or so 
participants striking single hand-held gongs, the ensemble is led by a pair of cymbals and a Shan ozi, a 


goblet-shaped drum as long as eight feet whose player improvises rhythmic ideas that interconnect with the 
cymbals. 

This pagoda festival is clearly a special event for the people of the region. The event combines food, 
dance, music, family, and friends and reaffirms relationships between the monks and the community. 





Video 11.1: Myanmar: Buddhist Chant 


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A IMPORTANT NOTE: Your score for this item will not report to your instructor's gradebool 


If your instructor has assigned this item you must complete it within their course in your in 
system/virtual learning environment, not within this eBook, in order to receive credit. 


Buddhist Chant and Ritual Music in Myanmar 
Pwe Festival filmed in Taunggyi, East Burma 


Gavin Douglas 














| a |e © 





Speed: 1x Paused 


1. The music of the Pa-O procession can best described as 


O played by percussion instruments. 
O non-metrical. 
© played by woodwind instruments. 


O being played at a fast tempo. 


2. The primary purpose of the music played by the Shan ensemble was to 


O praise Buddha. 
O provide accompaniment for the singers. 
O provide accompaniment for the martial arts dancers. 


O draw attention to the musicians so they could earn money. 


3. Based on what you saw and heard in the video of Buddhist monks chanting, which of the fol 


O The chant is polyphonic. 
O The chant is improvised. 
O The chant is highly ornamented. 


O They are chanting in rhythmic unison. 


4. Which of the following statements is true about all three musical excerpts from Myanmar? 


O They are all homophonic. 
O They all feature dramatic changes in dynamic level. 
O They are all more focused on rhythm as opposed to melody. 


O They all feature drums. 


NON 4 INCOR GCONTN X04 TCO CMAYZ REISS COM KO) om Oxo) Clo) rsh ae) ars 





Music is an integral part of all kinds of celebrations, including religious rituals, national holidays and 
events, and even family gatherings such as birthday parties. 


In the text, we discuss how the music for the Catholic Mass evolved over time to include a set group 
of musical performances, some that remain the same (the Ordinary) and some that change depending 
on the day (the Proper). 


Music for ceremonial purposes can be heard throughout our daily lives. For example, when the 
president enters a room, it is customary to play “Hail to the Chief,” a musical signal of the president’s 
rank and power. When “breaking news” is announced on TV, a graphic is often accompanied either 
by a brief musical theme that tells us we should pay attention. 


Jazz composer Duke Ellington wrote several extended compositions for a series of his “sacred 
concerts” in the ’60s that were performed at major U.S. and British cathedrals. These exemplified 
Ellington’s unique approach to jazz composition on a series of themes inspired by traditional African- 
American spirituals. Although these works have been performed from time to time, they are not 
directly tied to a specific religious ceremony. 


1) 


Concert of Sacred Music album by Duke Ellington (1966) 





The Renaissance 


Next to the word of God, music merits the highest praise. — 
MARTIN LUTHER 





Renaissance musicians from the sixteenth century. 


CHAPTER 12 
The Development of Renaissance Music 


CHAPTER 13 
Guillaume Dufay and the Franco-Flemish Style 


CHAPTER 14 
Josquin Desprez 


CHAPTER 15 
Palestrina and the Counter-Reformation 


CHAPTER 16 
New Currents: National Styles 


CHAPTER 17 
The Rise of Instrumental Music 


GLOBAL CONNECTIONS Bali: Gamelan Music 


The Renaissance was an age of revival in arts and letters. It began in Italy around 
1450 and, spreading throughout Western Europe, continued until around 1600. 


Writers, artists, and musicians of the Renaissance saw themselves as agents of a 
cultural rebirth inspired by their rediscovery of classical antiquity. We can trace many 
of our modern attitudes—our curiosity about the world, our interest in human affairs 
and the human spirit—to the Renaissance worldview. 


Why Listen to Renaissance Music? 


During the Renaissance, four innovations decisively altered the character and sound 
of music, effectively modernizing it: 


1) In addition to the older medieval church modes, composers began using two 
new modes, later recognized as our major and minor scales (see p. 15). 

2) In choosing harmonies, composers began preferring triads (three-note chords), 
the building blocks of most music we hear today. 

3) The appearance of musical notation changed considerably. Standard modern 
features of writing music were widely adopted, including separate note heads, 
stems, and beams to connect notes. 

4) In addition to fourths and fifths, thirds and sixths came to be considered 
consonant. 


Much Renaissance music was vocal and tied to specific texts carrying specific 
meanings. The subjects of Renaissance songs—often courtship and love—are familiar 
to us today. In addition to vocal music, the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries witnessed 
the rise of Western music written for instruments alone. This division between vocal 
and instrumental categories continued on down through the centuries. (In the Baroque 
period, following the Renaissance, a third category arose that joined vocal and 
instrumental forces.) 





‘Bd mes ammours 




















Page from an early music publication by Petrucci of Josquin’s Adieu, mes amours. This notation 
reveals the addition of many modern features, including note heads and stems. 


Humanism 


Central to the Renaissance was the concept of humanism, which emphasized human 
achievements and values. This system of thought was inspired by ancient Greek and 
Roman works. In ancient Rome the orator Cicero had defined humanity (humanitas, 
from which we derive “humanities”’) as the proper pursuit of mankind. Renaissance 
thinkers adopted this idea, which became one of the defining features of the 
Renaissance. 


Rebirth 


The idea of rebirth was also prominent, especially in the arts. Medieval music was 
dismissed as unworthy, and the state of the visual arts after the fall of Rome in 476 
was compared to an aging body. The revival that began with a long line of Italian 
artists and architects—Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Michelangelo among them— 
was likened to a miraculous rebirth. At the center of this artistic fever stood the 
“universal” or “Renaissance man,” a well-rounded figure educated in the humanities, 
versed in classical literature, and skilled in arms and athletics. Leonardo da Vinci 
(1452-1519) was the ultimate example. His extraordinary achievements as a scientist, 


artist, inventor, and musician set him apart even among his many talented 
contemporaries. 





Vitruvian Man, a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci of an ideally proportioned human figure, named 
after the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius. 


Classical Revival 


The humanists’ new focus on ancient Greek and Roman civilization came from their 
readings of the early church fathers, who in turn were influenced by the great 
classical thinkers. The humanists studied ancient ruins, statues, and coins. While not 
rejecting Christian beliefs, they took a more flexible view of Christian teachings than 
medieval thinkers. For the humanists mankind was no longer limited to contemplating 
the hereafter, but also a creative agent that could explore and marvel at the here and 
now. 


Artists as Individual Creators 


Painters and sculptors depicted the human figure in realistic detail and developed 
individual styles. They humanized art by using linear perspective, which enabled 
them to render objects on their flat canvases to suggest real depth. This technique was 
probably introduced by the Florentine artist Masaccio in the 1420s and then 
developed by his contemporaries. 





Masaccio, Madonna and Child with St. Anne, ca. 1424. 


Composers, too, came to see themselves as individual creators rather than 
anonymous artisans. Josquin Desprez, perhaps the greatest musical genius of the 
period, wrote a motet that concealed his own name in an acrostic, spelled out by the 
first letter of each line of text. This musical signature reflected a new attitude about 
music, now emerging as an art practiced by composers with personal, engaging styles. 


Transition to Modernity 


Today, we tend to view the Renaissance as a transition to modern times. Feudalism, 
supported by a land-based economy, was giving way to nation-states such as England, 
France, and Spain, ruled by monarchs. In Italy, the great city-states of Florence, 
Milan, and Venice were rising. The spread of international trade in turn created a new 
class of wealthy merchants and bankers, including the Medici family of Florence (see 
the Making Connections box on p. 92). Whereas previously church and state had been 
the primary supporters of the arts, the newly prosperous merchant class began to 
produce important patrons as well. Artists were now tasked with creating individual 
portraits, and musicians were commissioned to compose music for specific occasions. 

The growth of science and technology also had a significant impact on the 
Renaissance world. Columbus, Magellan, and other explorers ventured out onto the 
oceans, doubling the area of the world known to Europeans. 

Copernicus revolutionized scientific thought by asserting that the earth revolved 
around the sun, not the sun around the earth. Galileo tinkered with designs for a 
helicopter-like flying machine and diving apparatus. The invention of printing 
provided the means to spread knowledge—and music—on an unprecedented scale. 

The Renaissance valued a new human curiosity about the world and humankind’s 
place in it. The medieval worldview, in which the present was a time of self-denial 
and preparation for the hereafter, gave way to a burst of confidence in humanity’s 
capabilities. With the dawning of the new age, composers rose to the new challenge. 
They still wrote music to praise God, but also to celebrate human experience, both 
trivial and exalted. 


I Interactive Timeline: The Renaissance 





Guillaume Dufay Mass Se la face ay pale © First Italian Thomas Weelkes “As Vesta Was from Latmos 
Ca, 1397-1474 Ca, 1450 madrigals composed 1576-1623 Hill Descending” 1601 
Ca. 1530 ES —= 
Carl 
156 


lo Gesualdo 
65-1613 
es 
y} Williom Byrd “Payana Lachrymae” 
— 1540-1623 Ca. 1600 


Ave Maria © Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina Pope Marcellus Mass 
1485 Ca. 1525-1594 1562 







Musical Works and Composers 





Josquin Desprez 
Ca, 1450-1521 








1400 1425 1450 1475 1500 1525 1550 1575 1600 1625 


Gutenberg Bible published = Columbus reaches the Americas © The Protestant Reformation Begins @ England defeats the Spanish Armada 
(first printed book} ry 1492 1517 1588 
1454 @ e 


Botticelli, © Church of England established 
The Birth of Verus Michelangelo, 
Co, 1486 @ David 1504 @ 











Council of Trent 
1545-1563 
aa 


History and Culture 


Reign of Elizabeth | in England 


1420-1436 1558-1603 





Brunelleschi’s dome, for Florence Cathedral 
—=— 


CHAPTER 


12 


The Development of Renaissance 
Music 


Music underwent a genuine revitalization during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Even so, for a while 
some links to the Middle Ages endured. For example, composers still drew on courtly love poetry of the late 
Middle Ages for their secular vocal music. They also continued to base their sacred polyphony on Gregorian 
plainchant and to use church modes. 

But Renaissance composers challenged these ties to the past by asserting a newfound freedom and 
willingness to experiment. One result was that music steadily rose in stature among the fine arts. Composers 
now created large-scale works that demanded fresh approaches to musical structure. Eventually, the 
centuries-old authority of Gregorian plainchant eased its grip on sacred music. More and more, composers 
used their imagination rather than plainchant to set sacred texts. 

Generally, medieval composers had started with one voice and then added parts to it in succession. 
Renaissance composers, in contrast, began thinking of all the parts of their music simultaneously. Instead of 
focusing on each part separately, they conceived of a unified musical web of sound, in which the various 
strands supported one another. Driving these changes were new ideas about harmony and counterpoint that 
made their music sound distinct from medieval music. 

Among the most significant innovations of Renaissance music were two new modes that became our 
modern major and minor scales. It took quite some time for musicians to understand how revolutionary these 
new modes were. Indeed, it required about two centuries, during the Baroque era, for a new system of 
musical organization (tonality; see p. 28) to be fully developed based on the major and minor scales. 
(Tonality effectively replaced modality, which had ruled medieval music for centuries.) Renaissance 
composers began the process by introducing the two new modes into their music. 

These musicians also developed fresh approaches to harmony. By using triads (three notes stacked as 
thirds and played together; e.g., C-E-G), they created music that sounded richer than medieval music. 

The evidence suggests that early fifteenth-century English composers were the first to start 
experimenting with triads. They brought this new style to the Continent, where it quickly spread. Soon, 
Renaissance composers—unable to resist the new, pleasing sound of triadic harmonies—were filling their 
compositions with them. This new approach to harmony would become the basis for most of the classical 
and popular music that followed. 


MAKING CONNECTIONS The Renaissance Rediscovers Classical Antiquity 





One powerful current that ran through the Renaissance was a renewed effort to celebrate Greek and 
Roman antiquity. “Architecture and sculpture showed this connection most directly. Ruins of classical 
buildings and statues had survived through the centuries in Italy, reminders of the Roman Empire’s past 
glory. Leading Italian architects and sculptors patiently studied the elements of symmetry and 
proportion in the ruins, seeking to apply them to their own art. A splendid example of Renaissance 
architecture is the Tempietto of Donato Bramante, probably begun in Rome around 1502. 
Commissioned to mark the presumed site of Saint Peter’s crucifixion, this structure resembles a pagan 
temple from antiquity. 


~ ~ = 


k ih ki y 


we, geseRLUER, 4) 
bliss Iba lt | 


~~ eM Mi 





Bramante, Tempietto. Note the symmetrical design and use of a dome, influenced by Greek and Roman architecture. 


Renaissance painting and literature also found inspiration in classical themes. Artists took up 
portraiture as a new genre, typically showing their subjects in profile based on models from ancient 
coins. In literature, classical Latin became standard, as did the genres of classical poetry and drama: the 
epic poem, tragedy, and comedy, for example. 

In Renaissance music, the classical connection was not as direct as in the other arts, owing to a lack 
of surviving examples. Yet some Renaissance musicians scoured ancient texts for evidence of how 
music had been created and performed centuries before. Others took the classical ideas of balance and 
order and applied them to musical composition. In addition, Renaissance humanists reaffirmed the 
ancient Greek idea that music could powerfully influence human behavior. 


check your KNOWLEDGE 12 


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12.1 





The Development of Renaissance Music 


Which features of medieval music continued to influence Renaissance composers? 


12.2 





The Development of Renaissance Music 


Which musical innovations did Renaissance composers introduce? 


P 


Chapter 12 Quiz 


CHAPTER 


13 


Guillaume Dufay and the Franco-Flemish 
Style 


We usually think of Italy as the wellspring of the Renaissance. But in music it arose in Belgium, Holland, and particularly 
northeastern France. Composers left these homelands to work in Italy, where their transplanted art took root. They filled the 
ranks of musicians at the Papal Chapel in Rome and worked at Italian courts and chapels well into the sixteenth century. 
Only then did Italy produce native composers of the first rank. 

Through much of the fifteenth century, what became known as the Franco-Flemish style centered on the powerful duchy 
of Burgundy. Many famous musicians of the day were associated with the Burgundian court, including one whose music 
bridged the end of the Middle Ages and the early Renaissance, Guillaume Dufay (ca. 1397-1474). 

Born probably near Brussels, Dufay was a choirboy in Cambrai before he traveled south to Italy, where he served 
aristocratic patrons and sang in the papal choir. Periodically returning to Cambrai, he eventually settled there at the height of 
his fame, probably in the 1460s. Dufay belonged to a new generation of musicians in great demand, a sign of the enhanced 
status of music. He created music for high-profile events, including a motet for the 1436 consecration of Brunelleschi’s 
stunning engineering feat, the dome of the Florence Cathedral. 


Q 
Guillaume Dufay (ca. 1397-1474). 


Dufay composed secular chansons based on love poetry that had medieval origins. But their graceful melodic lines were 
uniquely his own. Much of his remaining music was devoted to the sacred genres of the motet and Mass. In several motets, 
Dufay followed the medieval technique of constructing the work around a slow-moving tenor part (the next-to-lowest- 
sounding part; see p. 67) that supported other, faster-moving parts. But he also employed forward-looking techniques: he 
varied his textures from carefully designed duets to denser thickets of four or five parts. In some cases, he had the individual 
parts imitate one another. And, in a bold departure from medieval practice, he occasionally used secular melodies, including 
his own, as foundations for his sacred Masses. 


Video 13.1: Cantus Firmus Technique. Larry Todd explains how Renaissance composers used cantus firmus technique to unify their 
compositions. 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 


Dufay probably composed his Mass Se la face ay pale (Listening Map 7) around 1450, toward the middle of his career. 
By Dufay’s time, the polyphonic Mass had developed into a multimovement cycle of the Ordinary (see p. 57) built around a 
recurring melodic line known as a cantus firmus (“fixed voice”). Typically a sacred plainchant, the cantus firmus appeared 
prominently in one voice in each movement, unifying the whole composition. For the cantus firmus of the Mass Se la face 
ay pale, Dufay strikingly chose a secular melody from a love song he composed by the same name (Figure 13.1). This 
choice in a sacred Mass shows how humanistic values were becoming increasingly important in fifteenth-century music. 


Q 
FIG 13.1 The melody of Dufay’s love song Se /a face ay pale, the basis of his Mass. 


Dufay wrote his Mass for a small choral ensemble in four parts (soprano, alto, tenor, and bass). Generally, the tenor sang 
the cantus firmus in slow-moving pitches while the three other parts wove around it a tapestry of faster-moving, freely 


composed counterpoint. What Dufay originally conceived as a nimble love song now took on a solemn tone, to the repeating 
strains of “Kyrie eleison.” 

In earlier medieval music, the tenor had generally served as the lowest-sounding part of a composition. In Dufay’s Mass, 
however, the tenor took its place above an even lower-sounding bass voice. Working independently of the tenor, the bass 
reinforced the pitches of the upper three voices. 


MAKING CONNECTIONS Brunelleschi’s Dome 


One of the great architectural icons of the early Renaissance, the dome of Florence Cathedral was constructed by 
Filippo Brunelleschi between 1420 and 1436. As it slowly rose to dominate the skyline, it came to represent the 
newfound prestige and wealth of the city-state. Its creator was a hot-tempered but secretive goldsmith untrained in the 
craft of architecture. He responded to an urgent call for a workable design to cover the open crossing of the two arms of 
the unfinished cathedral. Brunelleschi designed a free-standing, gravity-defying cupola, or dome, that could 
successfully enclose the vast space above the altar. It spanned 150 feet across and hovered 180 feet above the ground. 





Q 


Florence Cathedral. Brunelleschi’s dome is on the right end of the structure. 


At the time, Brunelleschi’s vision seemed utterly impossible to build. He proposed to raise the dome like an egg 
that could stand on its own, without using an interior scaffolding to support the work. Inspired in part by the circular 
designs of ancient Roman buildings, the cupola actually comprised two domes, one inside the other. These were shaped 
into an octagonal format by four enormous Gothic arches that met perfectly in the middle. Some four million bricks 
were required to complete the structure. To prevent them from developing fissures over time and collapsing, 
Brunelleschi instructed his masons to use an ingenious herringbone pattern. 

When Pope Eugenius IV consecrated the cathedral in 1436, the Papal Choir performed a grand motet composed for 
the occasion by Guillaume Dufay. In four large sections plus a breathtaking conclusion on “Amen,” Dufay’s motet 
displays a grand musical architecture. It is well proportioned, in keeping with Brunelleschi’s towering accomplishment. 


Q LISTENING MAP vi 


GUILLAUME DUFAY, Mass Se la face ay pale, Kyrie 
{CA. 1450} 


AUDIO: Mass Se la face ay pale, Kyrie 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 


a 


The text of the Kyrie falls into three sections: “Kyrie eleison” (“Lord, have mercy”); “Christe 
eleison” (“Christ, have mercy”); and “Kyrie eleison” (“Lord, have mercy’’). The overall plan is thus 
ABA, a symmetrical design. For the first and third sections he employs the full chorus, with the 
slowly moving cantus firmus—the melody of his love song—in the tenor voice (© and 9), But for 
the second section Dufay aims for contrast: here the cantus firmus in the tenor voice drops out (4). 
In contrast to the full-bodied “Kyrie eleison,” the “Christe eleison” offers intimate duets between 
the soprano and alto, alto and bass, and soprano and bass. The third, final section of the movement 
revives the text “Kyrie eleison” and reinstates the rich sound of the opening, as the cantus firmus 
reasserts its ceremonial role in the tenor. 





Q why to LISTEN 


Dufay’s sacred Mass is notable for its use of a melody from one of his secular love songs. Some theories have been 
advanced to explain Dufay’s unusual choice. One is that he may have composed the Mass for an aristocratic court wedding. 
Another is that he designed the composition as an offering to Mary, so that the love-song cantus firmus reflected her 
veneration. Either explanation could help account for the appearance of a popular song in a Mass, the musical highpoint of 


Catholic worship. No matter Dufay’s motivation, the technique represented a new freedom. 


Q first LISTEN 


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Q a deeper LISTEN 







TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS TEXT 









0:00 Four-part polyphony (soprano, alto, tenor, bass); © cantus Kyrie 
firmus (melody) in tenor with slow note values eleison 
Q 


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23) V4 Duets between soprano and alto, alto and bass, and soprano and ~— Christe 


bass; © cantus firmus in tenor drops out eleison 


3:23 Four-part polyphony resumes; © cantus firmus reinstated in Kyrie 


tenor eleison 


check your KNOWLEDGE 13 


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13.1 
13.2 
13.3 
13.4 


Q 
Chapter 13 Quiz 


TRANSLATION 


Lord have mercy 


Christ have 
mercy 


Lord have mercy 


CHAPTER 


14 


Josquin Desprez 


After Dufay, several generations of Franco-Flemish composers excelled at writing sacred polyphony. Josquin Desprez (ca. 
1450-1521) brought it to new heights in the sixteenth century. Like Dufay, Josquin (known by his first name) was active in 
France and Italy. He perfected a new style of polyphony, with short musical themes, or motives, exchanged and imitated 
among the parts, which would influence the art of counterpoint for centuries to come. 

We know little about Josquin’s early years. Most likely he was born about 1450 near Picardy, in northern France. By the 
1480s he was living in Italy, where he sang at the cathedral in Milan and enjoyed the patronage of the ruling ducal family. 
Later he joined the Papal Chapel in Rome and briefly entered the service of the Duke of Ferrara. The duke was an important 
patron of the arts who, like Lorenzo the Magnificent in Florence, hired highly skilled Franco-Flemish composers to work at 
his court. When a plague broke out, Josquin left Ferrara to retire in his homeland, on what is now the border of France and 
Belgium. 

A celebrity who was compared to Michelangelo, Josquin commanded a generous salary. He earned a reputation for 
composing according to his own schedule, rather than deferring to his patron’s will. Years after his death, this reputation led 
the Protestant reformer Martin Luther to describe Josquin as the “master of the notes,” bending them to his will. 


Q 
Josquin Desprez (ca. 1450-1521). 


Josquin’s fame as a composer spread throughout Western Europe and survived long after his death. Owing to the 
development of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg around 1440, music publishing began and quickly accelerated near 
the beginning of the sixteenth century. This major innovation contributed greatly to Josquin’s reputation. In 1501, the 
Venetian printer Ottaviano Petrucci, the first successful music publisher, began setting polyphonic music with movable type. 
Between 1502 and 1516 Petrucci released several volumes of Josquin’s Masses and motets, a clear sign of the composer’s 
reputation. Josquin was among the first composers to benefit from having his works commercially released and available for 
purchase. 


MAKING CONNECTIONS Lorenzo the Magnificent 


The Renaissance era was marked by a significant growth in trade among the Italian city-states and the new European 
nation states. For trade to be successful, there had to be a means of providing credit to those buying goods so that 
sellers could trust that they would eventually be paid for their wares. The Medici family of Florence was among the 
first to tackle this problem, by establishing one of the most successful banks of the Renaissance. Their considerable 
wealth led them to become the true rulers of Florence, which they controlled in some capacity for centuries, beginning 
in the 1400s. The Medici produced popes and queens and were dedicated humanists and patrons of the arts. The most 
famous was Lorenzo the Magnificent (r. 1449-1492), an accomplished equestrian, celebrated poet, and skilled musician 
who attracted to the city several leading musicians. 

Among the many works and artists that he sponsored, Lorenzo had an indirect hand in the creation of one of the 
iconic paintings of the Renaissance, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus (ca. 1486). It shows the Roman goddess of love being 
transported on a seashell by Zephyr, the west wind, and arriving at the island of Cyprus. Botticelli modeled his version 
of the goddess on the Venus de Medici, a marble statue from the first century BCE owned by the Medici. 





Q 
Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, ca. 1486. 


Q 
Venus de Medici, first century BCE. 


In 1502, Petrucci brought out a volume opening with one of Josquin’s most beloved works, the motet Ave Maria, 
composed probably around 1485 (Listening Map 8). The opening text of this motet is drawn from the New Testament, 
Luke 1:28, where the archangel Gabriel greets Mary and informs her that she will give birth to Christ. What follows is a 
series of five greetings, each commencing with Ave (Hail), which mark events in Mary’s life as celebrated in Catholic 
doctrine. In the concluding measures, we hear a simple plea, “O Mother of God, remember me,” a common prayer found on 
gravestones and prayer books of the period. 

Josquin carefully crafted each section of his motet to capture the nuances of the text. The opening greeting offers a fine 
example of point of imitation with four parts, in which one voice introduces a short melody that the other voices imitate 
one by one in turn. This exquisite music slowly accumulates from one to four parts and gently descends from high to low 
registers. 


Video 14.1: The Choral Tradition of Josquin’s Ave Maria Larry Todd and Duke University choral director Rodney Wynkoop discuss 
Josquin’s Ave Maria, a prime example of Renaissance choral music. They consider both how to interpret the piece and how Josquin uses 
voices to support the text and to vary the texture of the work. 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 
Video 14.2: Josquin, Ave Maria (performance) 
[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 

By Josquin’s time, the tradition of imitative polyphony in sacred choral music was well established. But Josquin also 
understood that sometimes simpler musical means could be just as powerful as the most ornate. So we find in his motet Ave 
Maria three types of texture. From the most complex to the simplest, they are: 

1) imitative counterpoint involving all four voices; 


2) pairings of voices; and 
3) block chords, where the four parts align vertically in homophony, distinct clusters of sound. 


Q LISTENING MAP & 


JOSQUIN DESPREZ, Ave Maria 
{CA. 1485} 


AUDIO: Ave Maria 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. | 


Six salutations to Mary and concluding prayer 


Polyphony, four-part chorus 


Josquin uses the soprano part to open the composition, followed by imitation in the alto, tenor, and 
bass (8). In contrast to the four-part polyphony of the opening, other sections of the work feature 
duets, with the soprano and alto, and the tenor and bass paired together (2). In a third type of 
texture, Josquin aligns the four parts vertically to sing in block chords, or homophony (8, ©). 





Q why to LISTEN 


Josquin’s skill ensured a well-balanced composition. The voices explored the two poles of the musical art in the fifteenth 
century: polyphony (counterpoint, or setting musical lines against one another) and homophony (harmony, aligning the parts 
to form distinct vertical clusters of sound we know as chords). In the space of just a few minutes Josquin’s composition 
compellingly summarizes the craft of the Renaissance composer. 


Q first LISTEN 


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Q a deeper LISTEN 







TIME 












2S 


3:07 


3:52 


4:23 


4:53 


5:55 


LISTEN FOR THIS 


{ Voices in pairs; soprano [S] and alto [A], and tenor 
[T] and bass [B], then all four voices 


Voices in pairs (S and A, T and B) 


Voices in pairs (S and A, T and B) 


{ Chords, change from duple to triple meter; block 
chords suggest unity and perfection 


Voices in pairs (S and A, T and B), return to duple 
meter 


© Chords, final prayer; twelve simple chords 
personalize the text 


check your KNOWLEDGE 14 


Ave Maria, gratia 
plena 


Dominus tecum, 
virgo serena. 


Q 


TRANSLATION 


Hail, Mary, full of grace, 


the Lord be with you, 
serene virgin. 


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Ave cuius conceptio 
solemni plena 
gaudio 

coelestia, terrestria 
nova replet laetitia. 


Ave cuius nativitas 


nostra fuit 
solemnitas 


ut Lucifer lux oriens 
verum solem 
praeveniens. 

Ave pia humilitas 
sine 

viro faecunditas 
cuius annuntiatio 
nostra fuit salvatio. 


Ave vera virginitas 
immaculata castitas 
cuius purificatio 
nostra fuit purgatio. 
Ave praeclara 
omnibus 

angelicis virtutibus 
cuius fuit assumptio 
nostra glorificatio. 


O Mater Dei, 


memento mei. Amen. 


Q 


connection to view this content. ] 


Hail, you whose 
conception 


full of solemn joy fills 
the 


heavens and earth 

with new rejoicing. 
Hail, you whose nativity 
was our solemnity, 

as the star arising in the 
morning 

precedes the true sun. 


Hail, pious humility, 
fertile without man, 
whose annunciation 
was our salvation. 


Hail, true virginity, 
immaculate chastity, 
whose purification 
was our purgation. 


Hail, most bright in all 
angelic virtues, 

whose assumption 
was our glorification. 


O Mother of God, 
remember me. Amen. 


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connection to view this content. ] 


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14.1 
14.2 
14.3 


Q 


Chapter 14 Quiz 


CHAPTER 
™N 


(15 ) 


\ 


Palestrina and the Counter-Reformation 


By the second half of the sixteenth century, native Italian composers were beginning to rival the long line of distinguished 
Franco-Flemish musicians. The leading Italian musician was Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (ca. 1525—1594), who refined 
further the Franco-Flemish style of imitative polyphony. Born near Rome in his namesake town, he spent most of his adult 
life in the city. Palestrina held several positions as a choirmaster, including at the Vatican, where he served nearly a dozen 


popes. 





Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (ca. 1525-1594). 


Palestrina’s prolific output—among his works are 104 Masses and nearly 400 motets—teflects the spirit of the Counter- 
Reformation. This was the reaction of the Catholic Church to the Protestant Reformationwhich had been set in motion in 
1517 by the German monk Martin Luther (see the Making Connections box on this page). The major event in the Counter- 
Reformation was the Council of Trent, convened by the pope in 1545 and in session off and on until 1563. The council’s 
purpose was to reject certain beliefs of the new Protestant faith, reaffirm the sacraments of Catholicism, and correct the 
abuses of the church, some of which Luther had cited in his Ninety-Five Theses. 


iy, 
~ 





Palestrina composed works for the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican; shown here is Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam (ca. 1511-1512), a 
detail from the ceiling. 


MAKING CONNECTIONS 





In 1510 an Augustinian monk walked some 700 miles from the German town of Erfurt to Rome. Like so many faithful 
Catholics who had preceded him, he confessed his sins and visited the holy sites of the Eternal City. His experience 
during his trip, however, would shake his faith to the core. Luther then visited the “sacred steps” (scala sancta), on 
which Christ had reputedly walked. As Luther slowly climbed them on his knees, he recited an “Our Father” for each 
step. He believed that this act could help save a soul, perhaps a member of his own family, from purgatory. But when 
he reached the summit, he asked, “Who knows whether it is so?” Having arrived in Rome a priest, he departed a 
reformer. 





Martin Luther, as painted by Lucas Cranach (1529). 


On All Saints’ Day in 1517, Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the castle church in the German 
town of Wittenberg. They outlined abuses in the Catholic Church, and protested that by selling indulgences (papal 
grants of forgiveness), the Church was in effect selling salvation. Luther intended his action to prompt a debate among 
clerics, but what happened altered the course of history. The Theses were soon published. Copies spread like wildfire 
throughout Europe, a testament to the power of the recently invented printing press. Eventually Luther was declared an 
outlaw by the Holy Roman Emperor and excommunicated by the pope. The Protestant Reformation had begun. 

These dramatic events altered the course of sacred music as well. Luther himself was a musician who played the 
lute and sang. Next to theology, he revered music as a gift from God that drove away satanic forces. For the new 
Lutheran services, he wrote German texts for hymns. He probably composed several melodies as well, including the 
iconic expression of Protestantism, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” In the new Protestant faith, these hymns were 
sung not just by the clergy but by the congregation. Luther thus initiated the tradition of singing chorales, which have 
memorable melodies supported by block-like chords. 


The bishops participating in the Council of Trent turned their attention to music as well. In 1555, Pope Marcellus II, who 
died after only a three-week reign, had directed the Papal Chapel singers to perform the sacred texts in a more dignified 
manner. By the 1560s, another pope was considering more severe measures, including a ban on polyphony and a return to 
singing unadorned plainchant. In response, Palestrina composed one of his greatest works, the Pope Marcellus Mass, 
published in 1562 and widely received as a defense of church polyphony. 


Bo Abii Sovit: Cometh abe iethro foAngee 

Aires Und sree ives aie GicbeSaes eke wage beh Yad atk = aby 

on SO abn wate den x. Lol Phot? Contos in einen Wakniaes 
, i ‘ . a 

: — Dijere affrt bnt Spr. Soultwan Felix pak 





The opening session of the Council of Trent in 1545. 


In creating this work Palestrina chose not to use a cantus firmus. Instead, he freely composed the music, employing an 
expanded, six-part chorus requiring one soprano and one alto part, two tenor parts, and two bass parts. With this ensemble 
Palestrina explored imitative counterpoint and chordal homophony. He attained rich textures that surpassed the four-part 
polyphony of Josquin’s Ave Maria. Nevertheless—and this was crucial to Palestrina’s great accomplishment—the writing in 
the Mass remained clear, so that the music did not obscure the text. 

The Pope Marcellus Mass became a standard to which other composers aspired. Although Palestrina’s music is not as 
well known today, its influence extended historically well past the Renaissance, and geographically well beyond Italy. 


check your KNOWLEDGE 15 


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15.1 
15.2 


PP 


Chapter 15 Quiz 


CHAPTER 


(16 ) 


New Currents: National Styles 


Apart from sacred polyphony, lighter, secular music steadily gained currency during the sixteenth century. 
There were songs of all types—zesty Spanish villancicos; colorful French chansons filled with street and 
battle cries and birdsongs; English consort songs, in which a singer was accompanied by instruments; and 
Italian frottolas set to lighthearted, amorous poetry. 


PART 


The Baroque 


Music wishes to be mistress of the air, not just of the water. —CLAUDIO 
MONTEVERDI 





Painting by Giovanni Paolo Panini of a concert at Teatro Argentina in Rome (1747), celebrating the marriage of Louis the 
Dauphin of France to Marie-Josephe of Saxony. 


CHAPTER 18 
Elements of Baroque Music 


CHAPTER 19 
Claudio Monteverdi and the Rise of Italian Opera 


CHAPTER 20 
The Spread of Opera 


CHAPTER 21 


Baroque Instrumental Music 


CHAPTER 22 
Antonio Vivaldi 


CHAPTER 23 
Johann Sebastian Bach’s Life and Career 


CHAPTER 24 
Bach’s Instrumental Music 


CHAPTER 25 
Bach’s Sacred Music 


CHAPTER 26 
George Frideric Handel 


CHAPTER 27 
Handel and the English Oratorio 


CHAPTER 28 
The End of the Baroque 


GLOBAL CONNECTIONS Japan: The Koto 


The Baroque was both a fanciful artistic style and an era, from roughly 1600 to 1750. The name likely derived 
from a Portuguese word for an irregularly shaped pearl. In music, this period spanned the rise of opera in the 
seventeenth century to the work of J. S. Bach and G. F. Handel in the eighteenth. Much of the period’s art was 
characteristically grand, extravagant, and ornate. 

The Baroque began in Italy. Toward the end of the sixteenth century, this emotional style began to challenge 
the serene balance of Renaissance art. Then, with the start of the seventeenth century, Baroque art emerged in all 
its grandeur. It was powerful and featured monumental, sometimes overwhelming effects. It was lavish, highly 
ornamented, and detailed. And it was an intensely charged art that captured the tortured passions of humankind. 


Why Listen to Baroque Music? 


Baroque music projects a grandiosity and energy, and yet it plumbs the full range of emotions. It can be powerful, 
whimsical, and theatrical. Some have found parallels to its forward driving rhythms and strong bass lines in two 
twentieth-century art forms, jazz and rock. These modern forms can also explode with propulsive rhythms and yet 
remain anchored on foundational bass lines that help give the music its structure. 

The characteristics of Baroque art and architecture—its ornate designs, complexity, and bizarre extremes—are 
echoed in Baroque music. In comparison, the Renaissance offered clean lines and measured proportions. There is 
an irrational edge to the Baroque, reminding us that not everything in human affairs is balanced, tidy, and perfect. 
Perhaps for that reason the Baroque has been revived from time to time down through history. 


Baroque Art and Architecture 


First to popularize the Baroque style was a group of Italian artists. Among the innovators was Michelangelo 
Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610), whose life mirrored the high drama of Baroque art. He was often involved in 
street fights; one bloody encounter in Rome led to his exile from the city. In his first celebrated painting, The 
Calling of St. Matthew (1599), Caravaggio depicts the moment when the tax collector Matthew is called upon by 
Christ. The painting is set in a darkened tavern, where the only light originates from over the raised hand of 
Christ. Caravaggio captures the startled looks of Matthew and his companions as they turn to see the holy figure. 

Another key proponent of the Baroque style was artist and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680). 
Working for several popes during the seventeenth century, Bernini made several improvements to St. Peter’s 
Square and Basilica in the Vatican, the papal enclave within Rome. To surround the vast area before the basilica, 
he created rows of gigantic columns supporting a long roof topped with monumental sculptures. Inside the 
cathedral, Bernini designed the Throne of St. Peter, a spectacular Baroque setting in marble, stucco, and bronze. 
Golden rays of light stream from its top, just above a highly ornate, three-dimensional relief depicting a mass of 
angels and seraphim. 


From Italy, the Baroque spread throughout Western Europe. The Spanish Baroque found full expression in the 
brilliant portraits of Diego Velazquez, the official court painter of Philip IV. Meanwhile, the Netherlands, now 
emerging as a seafaring economic power, also enjoyed its golden century. Its southern regions were a center of the 
Counter-Reformation, the Catholic Church’s response to the Protestant Reformation. There, the Flemish artist 
Peter Paul Rubens created heroic canvases on a grand scale, with glowing colors and a dynamic sense of 
movement and sweep. In the northern Netherlands (or Dutch Republic), a largely Protestant region, Baroque art 
culminated in the luminous paintings of Rembrandt, master of strong lighting effects and rich color. Rembrandt 
possessed an uncanny ability to capture not just the features but also the character of his subjects, including 
himself in dozens of revealing self-portraits. 





In France, the seventeenth century was the “grand century” of Louis XIV, the Sun King, who ruled by divine 
right. The centerpiece of his power was Versailles, not far from Paris. Accommodating thousands, this colossal 
palace, with its glittering Hall of Mirrors, sweeping vistas, and elegant fountains and gardens, was the envy of 
European monarchs. The stately residence and seat of government impresses as a vast artwork in itself. Its 
exaggerated ornamentation and huge scale effectively projected the authority and enormous power of the French 
king. 

The sciences made strong advances during the seventeenth century, which saw the invention of the telescope 
and microscope. Powerful minds were at work in all areas of scientific exploration, including Galileo Galilei 
(1564-1642) in astronomy and physics, René Descartes (1596-1650) in analytical geometry, William Harvey 
(1578-1657) in anatomy, and Isaac Newton (1642-1726) in calculus and physics. 





Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Throne of St. Peter, the Vatican (1653), an ornate Baroque creation in marble, stucco, and bronze. 





Diego Velazquez, Las Meninas, 1656. Velazquez was a key painter in the Spanish Baroque style. 





Rembrandt van Rijn, The Night Watch, 1642. Rembrandt’s ability to capture the character of his subjects is shown in the two 
brightly lit foreground figures. 





The Palace of Versailles, a symbol of French king Louis XIV’s power. 


C 


A history of Versailles 


The Musical Legacy of the Baroque 


Throughout the Baroque, composers created compelling music that reflected the emotionalism of the age. That 
music ranged from the dramatic operas of Monteverdi and Purcell to the polished chamber music of Corelli, the 
buoyant concertos of Vivaldi, the grand oratorios and operas of Handel, and the cerebral fugues of Bach. We can 
hear elements of the Baroque’s influence on musical traditions that followed. Early in the twentieth century, the 
remarkable musician Wanda Landowska made a highly successful career of reviving the harpsichord (a keyboard 
instrument that predates the piano). This Baroque instrument made another comeback during the 1960s, when 
bands such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones featured it in their music. 


Interactive Timeline: The Baroque 


Musical Works and Composers 


History and Culture 


1550 





Claudio Monteverdi 


1567-1643 


1575 





Caravaggio 


1573-1610 





Henry Purcell Dido and Aeneas Little Organ Fugue in G minor 






1653-1713 1689 Trio Sonata Op.3 No.10 


——ss 
The Four Seasons 





Jean-Baptiste Lully Antonio Vivaldi 1678-1741 Ca. 1725 
1632-1687 . 
NG. F. Handel 1685-1759 1717 Water Music 1742 Messiah 
1600 1625 1650 1675 1700 1725 1750 
Commonwealth in England © John Milton, © Salem witch trials 
1649-1660 Paradise Lost 1692 
Rembrandt a 1665 — 
Spe ey Palace of Versailles 
ene eee ae 
constructed 
Plymouth Colony founded Galileo, 1661-1682 
= SSS 
1620 Essay on the Solar System 
lamercon e 1632 Reign of Louis XIV of France 1643-1715 
Colony founded e a Ss) 





Isaac Newton 1642-1727 
a a 


1659-1695 1689 Ca. 1710 
SS pe Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 
Ca. 1720 
J. S. Bach 1685-1750 1731 Cantata No. 140 
Arcangelo Corelli 
a (o 


1775 


French and Indian War 


1755-1763 
a 


CHAPTER 


’ —_ 

f ‘\ 
v ¥ 
(18 ) 
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XQ f 


Elements of Baroque Music 


Running like a thread through the diverse styles of the Baroque is a compelling interest in human passions. 
Baroque painters exhibited this new emotionalism through their use of exaggerated shapes, dramatic lighting, 
and contorted human figures. Composers, in turn, used intense contrasts of loud and soft, complex melodic 
profiles with unanticipated twists and turns, and new rhythmic patterns. They set music to texts dealing with 
powerful emotional states such as love, rage, and sorrow. 

Baroque composers were especially concerned with relating music and text. By the early decades of the 
seventeenth century, a basic change in musical style had taken place. As the Italian Baroque composer Claudio 
Monteverdi described it, the older style had favored multiple melodic lines that sometimes obscured the meaning 
of the text. Monteverdi contrasted this style with a new one in which music was more responsive to the text. He 
aimed to achieve this goal in his music partly by focusing on a single melodic line accompanied by instruments. 
Without the clutter of multiple melodic parts, he reasoned, the text could project clearly. 





The Concert by Nicholas Tournier (seventeenth century). Baroque composers focused on relating music and text; they often 
wrote music for a single melodic line accompanied by instruments. 


The techniques Baroque composers used contrasted strikingly with those of the Renaissance. In this chapter, 
we will discuss three elements of Baroque music: 


1) Tonality (as opposed to modality, characteristic of medieval and Renaissance music) 
2) A performance convention known as the basso continuo 
3) New approaches to melody, rhythm, and dynamics 


18.1 The Development of Tonality 


For centuries, composers had respected the system of modality founded on the ancient church modes of the 
Middle Ages. Then, during the Renaissance, two new modes—our modern major and minor scales—gained 
favor. During the Baroque, these scales replaced the old church modes, and a new musical system of 
structuring melodies and harmonies—called tonality (see Chapter 2)—replaced modality. Once established, 
tonality reigned alone until the early twentieth century. And even though it was eventually challenged, 
tonality is still very much alive. In fact, most of the music we hear today, whether popular or classical music, 
is tonal. 

Tonality is based on triads, the three-note chords separated by intervals of the third (for example, C-E-G, 
D-F-A, E-G-B, and so forth). In the Renaissance, composers had begun to explore triads, but not until the 
seventeenth century did this remarkably sophisticated new system emerge fully. Here we will briefly review 
the general principles of tonality. Thanks to musical developments from the Baroque era, triads are the 
building blocks of our contemporary musical experiences. 

So just how does tonality work? We’ll begin with a major scale, say C-major (see Chapter 1), shown in 
the following example. After writing out the C-major scale, we can build triads on each step: 


C-Major Scale 


ee oo = 


W W H W W W H 
W = whole step; H = half step. 


Triads on the C-Major Scale 





Tonic Dominant Tonic 
Subdominant 


Figure Animations: Triads on the C Major Scale 


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Triads on the C Major Scale 


ra co g 8 
‘g—g—s—8 38 
i n 
































e 
\ I 
Tonic Dominant Tonic 
Subdominant 





Speed: 1x 


When we say a piece of music is in the key of C major, we mean that C, the lowest pitch of the C-major 
scale, serves as the center of the music. We call the triad built on C the tonic and use the Roman numeral I to 
identify it. In a piece of music in C major, then, we can expect to hear quite a few C-major triads. Usually, 
the piece will begin with I, and it will always end with I. What about the triads built on other steps of the C- 
major scale? Tonality sets up a hierarchy of these triads, so that not all have equal weight. After the tonic 
triad, the most important are those based on the fifth and fourth pitches of the scale, the dominant (V chord) 
and subdominant (IV chord), respectively. The tonic triad determines the key of a composition. Think of the 
tonic triad as the center of gravity, around which the subdominant and dominant triads revolve. The strongest 
association is between the tonic triad and the dominant triad. Next in importance is the subdominant triad, 
which works in conjunction with the tonic and dominant triads. Finally, all the triads derived from the scale 
may play roles in the harmonic progressions—the movement from one triad to another—throughout a tonal 
composition. 

We can begin to see how triads function by considering part of a well-known melody, such as “Joy to the 
World.” What concerns us here are the triads that support the melody. We’ll just focus on three—the tonic 
(1), subdominant (IV), and dominant (V): 


Joy to the world 

IIVI 

The Lord is come, 
IVIVI 

Let earth receive her King 
IIVIVVVI 


Here is the same opening in musical notation, in the key of C major: 





Figure Animations: Joy to the World Opening 


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fists dja giez 
































Joy to the }world! The |Lord is come; let Jearth re-|ceive her |King 
N . 
Ie 7 rf > C e = : 2 3 r: 
f ‘s F 
| r cadence 
I Iv I Iv I Veit I VV WV V V I 





Speed: 1x 


Baroque composers came to recognize the lowest-sounding line, or bass line, as the supporting line of 
harmonic progressions. In particular, they used certain bass-line patterns, or cadences, to announce an arrival 
in a particular key. The final progression of the preceding example, from dominant to tonic (V—I), represents 


a common cadence in the key of C major. 


In the C-minor scale, the most important triads after the tonic are the dominant, mediant (on the third 


pitch), and subdominant triads: 


C-minor Scale 


ee <> 
W H W W H W W 


W = whole step; H = half step. 


Triads on the C-minor Scale 





i Ill IV V i 
Tonic Mediant Dominant Tonic 
Subdominant 


In the seventeenth century, tonality developed into a system of twenty-four keys: twelve major and 
twelve minor, each with its own series of triads. This is also known as “The Circle of Fifths.” The major and 
minor keys were all transpositions of each other—that is, repetitions, starting on different pitches, of the 
same major or minor-scale pattern. During the Baroque, composers began to identify keys by key 
signatures, or listings of the sharps and flats needed for each key (see p. 12). We still follow that convention 
today. 


The Circle of Fifths 


18.2 The Basso Continuo 


A new performance technique called basso continuo (continuous bass), complemented the shift to tonality 
during the Baroque. The basso continuo (or simply, continuo) enabled composers to suggest harmonies 
above the bass part in a score. These shorthand notations, in the form of numbers, sharps, and flats, indicated 
which chords should be played as the accompaniment. The practice, a defining feature of Baroque music, is 
similar to how jazz musicians today use charts to sketch the harmonic changes in a jazz composition. 

In the Baroque period, performing the continuo required an instrument capable of playing chords (often a 
keyboard instrument such as a harpsichord or organ), and a bass instrument (for example, a cello or viol). 
The bass instrument played the bass line, while the keyboard instrument played the bass line and the chords 
indicated by the numbers. The art of converting these numbers into sounding chords was known as figured 
bass or thoroughbass. Reading a figured bass, a trained musician could furnish a background of chords for 
the composition. Most Baroque compositions that we’ll discuss include a figured bass performed by a 
supporting backdrop of continuo instruments. 





Princess Henriette of France (1727-1752), daughter of Louis XV, painted with bass viol by Jean-Marc Nattier; harpsichord 
in background. Performing the continuo required two such instruments: one to play the bass line alone, and one to add 
chords. 


18.3 Melody, Rhythm, and Dynamics in Baroque Music 


Much of the appeal of Baroque music resides in the combined effect of its long, ornate melodies, driving 
rhythmic patterns, and forceful contrasts in dynamics. 

Baroque melodies tend to be intricate and to display lavish ornamentation. The basic melody is typically 
enhanced with additional pitches that bring to mind the rich decoration of Baroque painting, sculpture, and 
architecture. Sometimes composers indicated these additions to the basic melody by liberally adding special 
signs, or ornaments, that alerted performers that they should add supplemental tones. One such ornament 
was the trill, indicated by the abbreviation tr, placed above a note. This sign directed musicians to alternate 
rapidly between the written note and the pitch immediately above, yielding a distinctive quivering effect. 

By harnessing rhythm and meter, Baroque composers could achieve a driving energy in their music. 
Often they would begin by establishing a basic pulse through a repeated rhythmic pattern, which then 
prevailed throughout the piece. Furthermore, Baroque composers allied their rhythmic patterns with a strong 
sense of regularly recurring beats, or meter. Baroque music is distinguished by the historically first use of 
regular bar lines, which divide the music into recurring beat patterns. 

Yet another innovative feature of Baroque music concerned the treatment of dynamics. For the first time 
composers specified contrasting levels of sound in their scores. The directions piano (__ p; soft) and forte ( 

Ff; loud) became common. Usually, composers maintained one dynamic level for a long section of a piece, 
before making a shift. Each succeeding shift would mark a greater increase or decrease in volume, in a 
technique known as terraced dynamics—a step-like change from soft to loud, or loud to soft. These shifts 
could be quite striking, and helped composers regulate the dramatic pacing in their music. 


Video 18.1: Figured Bass. Larry Todd explains how Baroque composers used notation known as figured bass to indicate 
the basic harmonic progression in their works. Performers were expected to improvise their bass parts based on this system. 


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EID) |rf#er|o7o 


Speed: 1x Paused 





Above all, treatments of melody, rhythm, and dynamics supported a primary goal of Baroque composers: 
to highlight unity of mood within a composition. In essence, each musical piece captured a particular 
emotion, such as rage, joy, sorrow, or grief. To that end, composers developed musical “figures of speech” to 
represent various moods. Sighing was expressed through drooping, two-note figures; rage through widely 
flung melodies filled with dramatic leaps. By using symbolic figures, composers sought to convey the human 
passions that figured so prominently in the arts and letters of the Baroque. 


check your KNOWLEDGE 18 


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18.1 


Elements of Baroque Music 


What are the major differences between medieval/Renaissance modality and Baroque tonality? 


18.2 





Elements of Baroque Music 


How do keys derive from the major or minor scales? What are the main triads for each type of scale? 


18.3 





Elements of Baroque Music 


What role did the basso continuo play in Baroque music? 


18.4 





Elements of Baroque Music 


How did composers’ use of melody, rhythm, and dynamics reflect the new Baroque concerns with ex| 


PP 


Chapter 18 Quiz 


CHAPTER 


19 


Claudio Monteverdi and the Rise of 
Italian Opera 


The first great Baroque composer was the bold and innovative Italian Claudio Monteverdi (1567—1643), who 
began his career by absorbing the styles of late Renaissance music. A prodigy who published his first music at 
age fifteen, he worked for more than twenty years at the ducal court of Mantua. In 1613 he assumed a far more 
illustrious post as music director of the bejeweled cathedral of St. Mark’s in Venice. Here he wrote sacred music 
and also served the Doge, or leader of the Venetian Republic. For some thirty years Monteverdi remained there, 
producing madrigals (for voices alone and for voices with instruments), organizing and writing music for sacred 
services, and establishing himself as the first master of an entirely new musical genre, opera. Monteverdi did not 
write much music for instruments alone, but his imaginative blending of instruments into vocal music was 
groundbreaking. 





Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643). 


Monteverdi was heir to the style of late Renaissance polyphony. He collected his finely crafted works into 
four volumes of a cappella madrigals (for voices alone). But with the fifth volume, published in 1605, he began 
experimenting with a continuo section to accompany the vocal ensemble. In subsequent madrigals, Monteverdi 
enhanced the role of instruments so that they also played individual parts. His most successful experiments with 
mixed scorings were the “songs of war’ and “songs of love,” which appeared in his eighth volume of madrigals 
in 1638. The “songs of war” feature rapidly repeated instrumental figures in what Monteverdi termed the 
“agitated style,” his musical representation of the passion of anger. 

Monteverdi’s sacred choral music exemplified another facet of his genius. His great collection of Vesper 
settings from 1610 showcases different styles and genres, including the older polyphonic Mass 
and polychoral choruses. Here, Monteverdi divided the vocal forces into two answering choruses, an 
arrangement that suited the echoing interior recesses of St. Mark’s. Monteverdi’s sacred music includes portions 
that blend voices and instruments, and intimate settings for solo voice and continuo. Such striking syntheses of 
old and new positioned him as the principal figure in the transition from the Renaissance to the Baroque. Still, 
his most influential achievements were in a strikingly new genre of music known as opera. 


An opera is a dramatic work set to continuous music and acted out on a stage with singers, costumes, and 
scenery. Typically, an opera calls for solo singers and an orchestra, and may require a chorus as well. 
A librettist writes the text of the drama, known as the libretto (Italian for “booklet’”), which divides, like a play, 
into acts and scenes. A composer sets the libretto to music. The emergence of opera around the beginning of the 
seventeenth century marks a milestone in music history. Now music was directly allied with staged drama. This 
new genre arose in Italy as a form of court entertainment and then began spreading outside the courts through 
Western Europe. 

By the end of the sixteenth century, the stage had been set for opera through lavish theatrical court 
entertainments. A group of Florentine noblemen revived an ancient Greek dramatic practice known as monody, 
in which actors spoke their lines in a heightened style resembling singing. Composers began imitating this 
practice by setting texts to a single vocal line accompanied by a small continuo section of instruments. Monody 
allowed listeners to concentrate on a vocal line that brought the text into sharp relief. 

Responding to these ideas, composers wrote music on pastoral subjects taken from Greek mythology, and 
opera was born. The first masterpiece in the new genre was Monteverdi’s opera Orfeo (Orpheus), produced in 
1607 for the Duke of Mantua. 

The Orpheus myth is an ideal subject for an opera. In classical mythology, Orpheus was the follower (or son) 
of the god Apollo. Poet and musician, Orpheus set his verses to music so moving that he could induce animals 
and inanimate objects to do his will. Like the new musical style of monody, he embodied the persuasive power 
of song. 


Video 19.1: “Possente Spirto” from Monteverdi’s Orfeo. Considered the earliest opera, Orfeo continues to be produced 
around the world. This clip from a contemporary adaptation features the aria “Possente Spirto” (“O Powerful Spirit”). 


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MAKING CONNECTIONS St. Mark’s Basilica, Venice 


Among the centers of Christian worship with a storied musical tradition is the Basilica of St. Mark’s in 
Venice. Its founding goes back to the ninth century, when Venetian merchantmen stole relics of St. Mark 
from Alexandria in Egypt and brought them to the budding city, then a province of the Eastern Orthodox 
Church in Byzantium. 

Built in a Byzantine style, over centuries St. Mark’s became encrusted with precious stones—opal, 
mother of pearl, marbles, rubies, and gold—much of it brought back as plunder from the medieval 
Crusades. At first sight, the structure makes an overwhelming impression, leaving many visitors speechless. 

Inside the cathedral, visitors confront a wonderland of mosaics decorating five domed cupolas and 
raised galleries. To magnify the effects of light reaching the interior, each mosaic piece is set at a slight 
angle. And as musicians discovered, the recesses and separate galleries of the interior (laid out in the form 
of a Greek cross, with four sides of the same length) are ideal for capturing special musical echo effects. 
Even before Monteverdi arrived in 1613, composers had begun experimenting with cori spezzati, or 
“separated choirs,” placed in the galleries. The architecture encouraged exploring musical dynamics 
through coordinated shifts between levels of sound, sometimes indicated in the music by the instruction 
“echo.” 


od 2 OD lh 
rs w J .-. aa aa mn ; Pre 
"il Yeo Ma 
1h 1 i i Wi es 
a ree su [al i uh iW 


> 


7 Nh Ai ry Wry 
eh Berea | Bay 





St. Mark’s Basilica. 


In Monteverdi’s opera, Orfeo tries to win back his wife, Eurydice, who has died from a serpent’s bite and is 
now in the underworld. Orfeo journeys there and gains her release. There is a condition, however: he must not 
look back at her while they return to the upper world. But he cannot resist, and when he does look back, he loses 
her again. Here the libretto departs from the myth: Apollo comforts Orfeo over his loss and transports him to the 
heavens, so that he can gaze forever upon his wife. (According to the myth, instead of this relatively happy 
ending, Orfeo meets a violent end.) 

In much of this pioneering score, Monteverdi uses the monodic style of solo singing with continuo 
accompaniment. But he also includes lively choruses for the pastoral setting of Orfeo’s homeland, subdued 
choruses for the shadowy underworld, and instrumental dances and movements as the scenes require. 
Monteverdi matches the diversity of the music with an elaborate ensemble of instruments, or orchestra. 

As Act III opens, Orfeo has been accompanied by Speranza (Hope) to the entrance of the underworld, where 
he hopes to rescue his wife. But Speranza soon departs, and Orpheus is left alone. This passage unfolds in what 
is known as recitative (recitativo in Italian), the vocal style characteristic of the new monody. In recitative, the 
melodic line conforms to the inflections and accents of the text—its natural “ups” and “downs.” Recitative was 
the essential dramatic ingredient of early opera. Because it imitated the spontaneity of speech, it was a highly 
flexible style. Moreover, recitative enabled the composer to convey a good deal of text rapidly and efficiently. 
Still, there were occasions that required more formal, structured, and melodic music, which became known as 
an aria (or air). 





Orpheus in the underworld with Charon the ferryman, shown on a sixteenth-century Italian plate. 


One such occasion that demanded a more melodic treatment is Orfeo’s following entreaty to Charon, the 
dramatic center of the opera. Charon, who ferries the souls of the dead across the river Styx into the underworld, 
has told Orfeo to abandon his journey. After a somber instrumental introduction, Orfeo begins his memorable 
aria, “Possente spirto” (“O powerful spirit,” Listening Map 11). Here Orfeo’s appeal to Charon unfolds as a 
series of variations over a repeating bass line, with each variation sung to progressively more persuasive stanzas 
of poetry. Only with a last, desperate plea to the spirits of the underworld does Orfeo finally lull Charon to sleep. 
The fabled poet-musician then crosses the river, intent on reclaiming Eurydice with the sheer power of song. 

After Orfeo, Monteverdi continued to write operas, some of which have been lost. The major surviving opera 
of his late period is The Coronation of Poppea (L’incoronazione di Poppea, 1642), which marks another 
milestone in music history. Unlike Orfeo, written for a court entertainment, Poppea had its premiere in a public 
Venetian opera house. This change in venue anticipated a gradual shift in music from royal diversions to operas 
written for a public who purchased tickets. For his subject, Monteverdi turned to a scandalous chapter in Roman 
history: the reign of Emperor Nero (54-68 CE). According to legend, Nero “fiddled” while Rome burned, 
destroyed his real and imagined rivals on a whim, and possibly even murdered his mother. The alleged murder 
was to help clear the way for marrying his mistress, Poppea, after whom Monteverdi named his opera. 
Monteverdi’s ability to capture the emotions of a wealth of characters again provides considerable evidence of 
his musical and dramatic genius. The opera reflects as well the hyper-charged emotionalism of Baroque music. 


MAKING CONNECTIONS 





The word orchestra comes from the Greek for the area before a stage, where a large group of musicians can 
support the dramatic action. 

Monteverdi realized that a careful selection and use of instruments in his operas could enhance the 
power of the music and delivery of the words. For Orfeo, the composer required nearly forty musicians, but 
the entire band did not play together. Some musicians likely played behind the scenes, and some had quite 
specific roles and played only during certain parts of the opera. Monteverdi seems to have organized the 
instruments into two basic categories: those for a basso continuo group, providing the bass line and 
harmonic foundation of the music; and those for melodic solos. Orfeo’s orchestra includes a string section 
of violins and viols, several trombones and trumpets, and other wind instruments, such as recorders and 
cometts, wood instruments with cup-shaped mouthpieces that produced a piercing, nasal tone. For his 


continuo section, Monteverdi calls at different times for harpsichords, a double harp (a harp with two sets 
of strings), chitarroni (lute-like instruments with elongated necks), and small chamber organs (two with 
wooden pipes and one, known as a regal, with reeds). 





(a) Cornetts and (b) chittarone. 


Monteverdi was quite sensitive to the timbre, or quality of sound, of specific instruments. In Orfeo, he 
associates instrumental colors with particular characters and settings. For example, he uses the harsh reed 
organ to accompany Charon, ferryman for the dead. By contrast, Orfeo sings with a range of softer 
instrumental options, such as violins, cornetts, and a double harp. Here, in the subtle decisions of an early 
seventeenth-century Baroque composer, we can find many of the origins of the large ensemble we know 
today as the modern orchestra. 


>) LISTENING MAP yl I 


CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI, Orfeo, Act III, “Possente spirto” (“O Powerful Spirit’), 
excerpt 
{1607} 


AUDIO: “Possente spirto” 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 


Voice accompanied by orchestra 


Orfeo’s plea to Charon, ferryman for the dead (“Possente spirto’’), inspired the most sophisticated 
music of the entire opera. Here, Orfeo sings a series of increasingly ornamented variations as he 
seeks to enter the underworld. Its guardian remains unmoved, however, until Orfeo returns to a 
simpler yet more forceful style. Throughout, the musical instruments accompanying Orfeo mirror 





his passionate plea with their own variations performed between the verses. Excerpted here are the 


instrumental introduction and first three variations of the scene. 





(@) why to LISTEN 


Still performed today, over 400 years after its premiere, Monteverdi’s Orfeo can lay claim to being the longest- 
lived opera in classical music. Usually, operas come and go with fashion changes, but Orfeo holds a special 
allure for listeners. Why is that? Setting aside its revered place in Baroque music, the opera has taken on a much 
broader significance because it is about music itself, about its universal power to move, agitate, and calm us. In 
addition, we are still moved by the compelling story of Orfeo’s attempts to vanquish death and reunite with his 
wife. 

Monteverdi recognized that “Possente spirto,” Orfeo’s confrontation with Charon, was the crux of the opera. 
He called it a “righteous prayer” and poured his artistry into this little masterpiece. Monteverdi’s emphasis on 
the voice, reinforced by the instruments to convey emotion, make this scene compelling, moving, and, above all, 
human. 


( ) first LISTEN 


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«—-) 4 deeper LISTEN 
TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS TEXT TRANSLATION 
0:00 The music sets the somber mood of the 
underworld 
0:32 Orfeo accompanied by organ with Possente spirto,e O powerful spirit, and 
wooden pipes and continuo, with two formidabil nume, formidable divinity, 
solo violins Senza cui far without whose aid passage 
Passaggio a to the other shore 
Valtra riva Is denied the soul severed 
Alma da corpo from the body. 
sciolta invan 
presume. 
—p —_,__,____,__-—3_| _{i_ __ »__=S 
Orfeo [nh 6-4... + = a 8 eo oe oe oe eee 
o at 
Pos - sen - te spir - = a to 














~ J 





[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 





TIME SECTION 
2:05 
2:34 


3:46 
4:02 


5:42 





LISTEN FOR THIS 


Two violins 


Orfeo accompanied by organ and 
continuo instrument, with two solo 
cornets 


Cornetts 


Orfeo accompanied by organ and 
continuo instrument, with solo double 
harp 


Double harp 


TEXT 


Non viv’io, no, 
che poi di vita é 
priva. 

Mia cara sposa, il 
cor non é piu 
meco, 

E senza cor 

com ’essor puo 
ch’io viva? 


A lei volt’ ho il 
cammin per l’aer 
cieco 

A l’'Inferno non 
gid, ch’ovunque 
stasis 

Tanta bellezza, il 
Paradiso ha seco. 


TRANSLATION 


I live no more, 
since my dear spouse is 
taken from life, 


I have no heart, and without 
a heart how can I still live? 


For her sake I have found 
my way through the blinding 
air, 

Not yet in Hades, for 
wherever is found 

such beauty, 

Paradise accompanies her. 


19.1 Barbara Strozzi and the Chamber Cantata 


While Italian opera became established as a favored form of public entertainment, another genre was emerging 
in private Venetian residences. Cantatas (from cantare, “to sing”) were intimate vocal compositions that 
featured a solo singer accompanied by a basso continuo. Like operas, cantatas relied heavily on contrasting 
musical styles shifting between recitative and aria. And, like operas, cantatas often drew on ancient history, 
mythology, or love poems for their subject matter. But unlike operas, cantatas were not staged with scenery and 
costumes, and at first usually centered on just one vocal soloist. 

A leading practitioner of the early cantata was the composer/singer Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677), who 
produced during her career more than one hundred compositions. Many of these were cantatas composed 
between 1644 and 1664. The adopted daughter of Giulio Strozzi, a poet who had crafted libretti for Monteverdi, 
Barbara Strozzi was a highly trained, highly regarded composer and singer. She premiered her music herself at 
the academies and private gatherings of Venetian literary and musical figures. Strozzi was among the few 
women of the time to publish her music (and among the first composers to use the Latin word opus, or “work,” 
to catalogue her compositions). She secured the patronage of Italian, Austrian, and German nobility, sustaining 
an exceptionally successful career as a composer. 





Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677). 


A good example of Strozzi’s art is the cantata L’Amante segreto (The Secret Lover), released as part of her 
Op. 2 in 1651. The subject is unrequited love, presented from the vantage point of a lady who would rather die 
than reveal her secret passion. In “Voglio morire” (“I Wish to Die”; see Listening Map 12), she sings a poignant, 
lament-like aria that unfolds above a fixed, repetitive pattern below known as a ground bass, ostinato, or basso 
ostinato (compare the English word “obstinate”). Over recurring, streaming bass patterns, she confesses her 
longing in an increasingly emotional and nuanced display typical of the Italian cantata. 


>) LISTENING MAP I Z 


BARBARA STROZZI, “Voglio morire” (“I Wish to Die”) from L’Amante segreto 


(The Secret Lover) 
{1651} 


AUDIO: “Voglio morire” 


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Aria (using ground bass) 


Soprano soloist and basso continuo 


Strozzi’s composition alternates between structured melodic passages and freer, speech-like 
passages. In the melodic passages, vocal phrases float above repetitive patterns of the ground bass. 
Here we present just the first minute or so of the aria, in which the bass pattern repeats thirteen 
times before the music shifts to the recitative style (not included in the excerpt). 





() why to LISTEN 


Strozzi’s excerpt illustrates a fundamental issue in Western music: the conflicting demands of musical unity 
versus variety. What unifies her composition are the regularly repeating ground bass patterns. Here, these are 
four pitches descending step by step as if announcing a scale, only to circle back and resume the pattern. A few 
repetitions in the bass condition us to expect the next. This simple technique became a mainstay of Baroque 
composition, particularly in tragic texts (for another example, see p. 138). Ground basses were not limited to 
Baroque cantatas, however. Later composers used them in a wide variety of instrumental works. Furthermore, 
simple bass patterns were absorbed into popular music, a compelling example of just how closely classical and 
popular music can converge. 

What provides a refreshing sense of variety in Strozzi’s aria are the ever-changing vocal phrases abovethe 
bass patterns. The soloist begins by paralleling the bass descent but then departs from the pattern, executing a 
series of vocal flourishes. The music thus creates a powerful tension between the steady, predictable bass line 
and the emotional, variable vocal line. 


( ) first LISTEN 


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«-) 2 deeper LISTEN 


TIME LISTEN FOR THIS 


TRANSLATION 





0:00 Bass pattern 


Vote 





Contnuo 


0:07 Voice enters over bass Voglio morire I desire to die 
pattern 

0:20 More repetitions of bass piu tosto ch’il mio mal venga a rather than he come to discover my pain, 
pattern scoprire, 


0:32 Soloist briefly drops out 
as bass pattern continues 


0:37 Soloist resumes O disgrazia fatale, Oh, fatal misfortune, 

0:48 Increasingly florid vocal quanto piu miran gl-occhi il suo bel the more my eyes marvel at his beautiful 
lines, culminating in a volto piu tien la bocca il mio desir face, the more my mouth buries my 
melisma sepolto. desire. 

1:11 Basso continuo concludes 


check your KNOWLEDGE 19 


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19.1 
19.2 
19.3 
19.4 
19.5 


LP 


Chapter 19 Quiz 


CHAPTER 


20 
The Spread of Opera 


By the middle of the seventeenth century, opera had spread throughout Italy and abroad. The opening of 
public opera houses made opera accessible to new, music-loving audiences. Two types of solo vocal music 
were now standard. Recitative, the hallmark of early Italian opera, was reserved for texts that carried the 
dramatic action. A second, more melodic type of solo music, the aria (or air), was used for texts in which the 
characters paused to react to the unfolding drama. Often, a dry, rapid recitative introduced a lyrical, tuneful 
aria. 


20.1 Opera in France 


In France, opera arrived relatively late in the seventeenth century, for various reasons. Ballet—a dramatic 
form of dance that tells a story through the movements of dancers with musical accompaniment—was 
already a well-entrenched form of court entertainment. The composer responsible for establishing French 
opera was actually an Italian, G. B. Lulli, better known as Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632—1687). A royal patent 
granted by Louis XIV guaranteed Lully absolute control over French operas. He typically began them with 
an orchestral overture, or introduction. It opened with stately rhythms to mark the entrance and presence of 
the king in the audience, and continued with a livelier section in imitative counterpoint. This coupling of the 
two sections (overture and imitative counterpoint), a style known as the French overture, found favor 
among later Baroque composers, French and foreign. 








Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687). 


MAKING CONNECTIONS Music as Royal Power: Lully at the Court of Louis XIV 





Among the European monarchs who ruled by “divine right,” Louis XIV enjoyed an especially long 
reign, from 1643 to 1715. It was Louis XIV who finished the massive palace of Versailles outside Paris. 
It became the seat of the French court in 1682, and there an elaborate court etiquette developed and 
played out on a grand scale. Hundreds of officials attended to the king’s every whim. 





Louis XIV (1. 1643-1715) as Apollo, the Sun God. 


Louis was heavily invested in the arts and surrounded himself with the most eminent French 
playwrights, poets, musicians, and dancers. In portraits, he is often shown with a turned, exposed ankle, 


indicating his love of dance, particularly the minuet. While dancing in one of the spectacular court 
ballets, Louis met a young Italian dancer and composer named Giovanni Battista Lulli. Within a few 
years, Lulli (who later became a French citizen and changed his name to Lully) had decisively affected 
the course of French Baroque music. 

Opera was slow to come to France. Lully and others first thought that the French language was not 
as suitable for the new genre as Italian. But he altered his opinion when he heard an opera by one of his 
rivals. Soon Lully managed to secure a monopoly over French operas, and he used his newfound power 
to reign over the musical establishment, an absolute monarch in his own right. Between 1673 and 1687 
Lully composed fourteen operas, about one a year. They were all tragedies on a grand scale that befit 
the Sun King. They were also carefully calculated to celebrate the monarch’s absolute reign, and thus 
served as propaganda to glorify the French state. A severe taskmaster, Lully demanded the very best 
from his musicians. His own tragic exit came after he accidentally injured his foot while beating time 
with a pole in front of his orchestra. The wound became infected, and he died from gangrene. 


20.2 Henry Purcell and English Opera 


In England, opera also arrived late in the seventeenth century. The English court had its own favorite form of 
entertainment, the masque, a spectacle featuring poetry, music, and elaborate sets and stage machinery. Masked 
players, sometimes members of the nobility, did not speak. These performances often centered on allegorical 
subjects such as peace or love, and they became popular in English theaters. However, in time opera began to 
establish a foothold. Henry Purcell (1659-1695), one of England’s most distinguished composers, composed 
masques that increasingly took on the trappings of opera. These semi-operas, as they are described, involved 
dramatic plays interrupted by musical, masque-like episodes. 





Henry Purcell (1659-1695). 


During his short career (he died at the age of thirty-six), Purcell was the organist of Westminster Abbey and 
of the Chapel Royal. He composed instrumental works, anthems (sacred compositions for the Anglican 
Church), ceremonial pieces for court, and dramatic operas. Purcell is remembered today mainly for Dido and 
Aeneas (1689), the first important English opera to use music throughout to unify a dramatic whole. Lasting 
under an hour, the opera contains a French-style overture, recitatives, airs, ensembles, choruses, dances, and 
instrumental interludes. 

Purcell took for his subject the tragic love affair of Dido and Aeneas as related in Virgil’s epic poem The 
Aeneid. Aeneas, forced to flee Troy while the Greeks sack the city, sets out to fulfill his destiny—to found 
Rome. Along the way, he lands at Carthage on the coast of North Africa, and falls in love with its queen, Dido. 
In Virgil’s version, the messenger god Mercury appears and orders Aeneas to leave Carthage. In despair, Dido 
impales herself on his sword and then burns herself on a funeral pyre as Aeneas’s fleet prepares to depart. The 
English version of Purcell’s opera deviates somewhat from Virgil’s account. Instead of Mercury intervening, a 
band of witches conspires to destroy Dido and Aeneas’s love affair, and Dido dies of grief. (In Purcell’s time, 
witchcraft had some contemporary relevance: the hysteria of the American Salem witch trials would play out 
just a few years later.) 

The most dramatic moment in Purcell’s opera comes in its final scene, when Dido performs her lament 
“When I Am Laid in Earth.” “To your promised empire fly, and let forsaken Dido die,” she exclaims during her 
last meeting with Aeneas. Then, after his exit, a somber chorus prepares her solo by singing, “Great minds 
against themselves conspire. And shun the cure they most desire.” Dido delivers a short recitative addressed to 
her sister, Belinda, and, overcome by grief, welcomes death. Her steadily descending line is accompanied only 
by a figured-bass line, played, according to Baroque practice, by a continuo section of a bass instrument and 
harpsichord. 





Rubens, Death of Dido. 


For the air that follows Dido’s recitative (see Listening Map 13), Purcell employs a small chamber orchestra 
of strings. The strings accompany the vocal melody, while a descending bass pattern repeats several times 
underneath. We have already encountered this technique of grounding music over an unchanging bass pattern in 
Strozzi’s aria (p. 133). Here, Purcell intensifies the effect by using a chromatic form of the scale-like descent. 


>) LISTENING MAP I 3 


HENRY PURCELL, Dido and Aeneas, Act III, “When I Am Laid in Earth” 
{1689} 


AUDIO: “When I Am Laid in Earth” 
[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. 


Ground bass and ten variations, arranged in pairs 
English opera 


Voice accompanied by orchestra 





Purcell’s air begins as a descending chromatic line, often used in Baroque music to represent 








poignant grief. At first the pattern is alone in the bass (_ (@)); then, Dido sings her mournful text 
against relentless repetitions of the pattern ( @). Her somber music falls into eight variations 
grouped into four pairs. The recurring statements of the ground bass build up a powerful tension 
released only by Dido’s farewell, “Remember me!” After her final, eighth variation, the orchestra 
continues with two more drooping variations that suggest sighs ( (3)). Pulled ever downward, the 
clashing string parts produce a highly dissonant, tense music. This lament conveys the nobility of 
the queen as it elegantly translates into music her tragic ending. 


() why to LISTEN 


Dido’s “When I Am Laid in Earth” shows several similarities to Strozzi’s “Voglio morire,” examined in Chapter 
19. Both use a basso ostinato and unfold as a series of variations over a fixed bass. If Strozzi’s bass pattern uses 
a simple descending scale, Purcell fills in the missing chromatic half steps to heighten the effect, producing as a 
result an increased number of dissonant harmonies. 


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(—-) «deeper LISTEN 


TIME 
0:00 


0:14 


0:35 


3:00 





SECTION TEXT LISTEN FOR THIS 


@ Slow, descending melody, representing grief 


Orchestra 
and 
Continuo 





Ground bass 


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When I am laid in @) Vocalist (Dido) enters, accompanied by repetitions of the 
earth descending bass line 

May my wrongs 

create 

No trouble in thy 

breast. 

Remember me, 

but ah! 

Forget my fate. 


Variation I 


Yn — 
Dido & 
as aS 





When I am laid__., am laid in 





earth, may my wrongs cre - ate 


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Third variation repeats first, fourth repeats second, seventh repeats fifth, 
eighth repeats sixth 


(3) Instrumental; listen for “drooping” melodic figures 


check your KNOWLEDGE 20 


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20.1 
20.2 
20.3 


PL 


Chapter 20 Quiz 


CHAPTER 
21 
Baroque Instrumental Music 


During the Baroque, great schools of instrumentalists arose in Italy, France, England, and Germany. This was 
an age of celebrated virtuosos—highly skilled performers including the Italian violinists Arcangelo Corelli 
and Antonio Vivaldi, in addition to lutenists, harpsichordists, organists, viol players, and opera singers. 


21.1 The Violin Family 


The seventeenth century marked the rise of the violin family of string instruments, which now began to rival the 
older viol family. Held under the chin, and played with a bow of horsehair, the violin has four strings (made of 
gut or steel) stretched over a hollow wooden case. By stopping the strings with fingers, the violinist can produce 
pitches ranging over several octaves. At the violinist’s disposal are several special effects such as plucking the 
strings (pizzicato), or bowing several simultaneously to produce chords. 





Counterclockwise from top: violin, viola, and cello. 

Videos: The Violin Family. Members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra discuss their instruments and what inspired them to 
play the violin, viola, cello, or string bass. 

Video 21.1:Discussion and demonstration of the violin by Elita Kang of the Boston Symphony Orchestra 
[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 


Video 21.2:Discussion and demonstration of the viola by Cathy Basrak of the Boston Symphony 
Orchestra 


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Video 21.3:Discussion and demonstration of the cello by Owen Young of the Boston Symphony Orchestra 
[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 


Video 21.4:Discussion and demonstration of the double bass by Todd Seeber of the Boston Symphony 
Orchestra 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 


Similar in appearance to the violin is the viola, which has four strings tuned a few pitches lower. Slightly 
larger in frame, the viola has a darker, less powerful tone than the violin. The cello (violoncello), the third 
member of the violin family, is played upright and held between the legs (like the viola da gamba). Its strings are 
tuned an octave below those of the viola. Its lower range makes it ideal for playing bass lines. Finally, the large, 
rather unwieldy double bass (also known as the bass viol, string bass, and contrabass), also played upright, has 
the lowest range of the string instruments, about an octave below the cello. The double bass is descended from 
the older Renaissance viol family of instruments, and so, strictly speaking, is not a member of the violin family. 
In the modern orchestra, the double bass usually reinforces the bass line. 

Because of its great versatility and powerful tone, the violin quickly became a favored instrument of 
virtuosos. String sections made up of violins, violas, cellos, and double bass were the core of the Baroque 
orchestra and remain so in the modern orchestra. (We have already encountered one example of a string 
orchestra in the selection from Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas in Chapter 20.) 


21.2 The Harpsichord 


Two keyboard instruments, the harpsichord and organ, became prominent during the Baroque era. The 
harpsichord is an instrument in which keys activate a mechanism that plucks strings (unlike the modern 
piano, in which hammers strike the strings). The plucking agent was a small piece of stiff quill fixed to a 
strip of wood known as a jack. When the musician depressed a key, the jack was forced upward so that the 
quill plucked a string. 





Harpsichord (1634). 


The earliest notated harpsichord music is from the sixteenth century, but the instrument’s heyday was the 
Baroque. This era boasted a long line of harpsichord craftsmen along with celebrated virtuosos who 
composed for the instrument, including J. S. Bach and G. F. Handel. (For an example by Bach, see his 
Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, discussed in Chapter 24, in which the harpsichord figures prominently as a 
solo instrument.) 

Because of their versatility, harpsichords were the workhorse of Baroque music. They could play a bass 
line and supply harmonies above it, according to the basso continuo practice, and thus provide a dependable 
support and backdrop to the music. They could not, however, offer flexible levels of soft and loud sounds. In 
the second half of the eighteenth century, harpsichords were displaced and then eclipsed by the new 
fortepiano (see p. 200), forerunner of our modern piano. 


21.3 The Organ 


Known as the king of instruments, the organ makes an impressive range of sounds when air travels through 
tuned pipes. The air is generated by a bellows and controlled by one or more keyboards and usually a set of 
pedals. When it enters the pipes, it sets in motion vibrations that create sounds. 





Pipe organ (1738) in the Grote Kerk, Haarlem, Netherlands. 


The ancient Greeks and Romans had hydraulic organs operated by a water-pumping mechanism. As early as 
the tenth century, an organ celebrated for its strong sound was in use in the monastery of Winchester in England. 
The most brilliant period of organ construction came during the Baroque. By the seventeenth century, great 
organs were filling European cathedrals and churches with rich blends of sound. Their ornate architectural 
designs provided visual counterparts to the music. 

The most impressive Baroque organs had several keyboards, a pedal board, and ranks of pipes of different 
tone color and pitch that could be engaged by knobs known as stops. At the time, these great machines were of 


unequaled complexity. Bach, the most celebrated organist of his time, was well versed in the technical design of 
organs. 


Video 21.5: The Organ. The curator of organs at Duke University gives a tour of this most complex of all Baroque 
instruments. He explains the different functions of each part and demonstrates how to play it. 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 


21.4 New Musical Genres 


New musical genres developed to accommodate the new virtuosity of instrumentalists. The term sonata 
(from Italian meaning “to sound,” as opposed to “to sing”) described a variety of pieces for one or a few 
instruments. Some Baroque instrumental music retained ties to older vocal music. In particular, the imitative 
polyphony of the Renaissance carried over to new genres well suited to keyboard instruments, on which 
performers could sustain several musical lines in complex textures. 

Other instrumental types included virtuoso variations on ground-bass patterns, many of them drawn from 
dances of the period. Still other compositions, including the prelude, often introduced a more substantial 
instrumental work, and were more freely conceived in the style of improvisations. 

Finally, many Baroque instrumental pieces were composed as dances and assembled into great 
collections. Eventually, a selection of several dances arranged in some order came to be known as a suite 
(from the French for “following”’). 

By the middle of the seventeenth century, the older Renaissance coupling of slow and fast dances was 
giving way to suites of four dances of different characters. The preferred form for these dances was a two- 
part plan known as binary form. As the name implies, binary form consists of two sections, each of which is 
repeated. We may label the two sections A and B, and represent the overall form as AABB, or by using repeat 
marks, as__ |:4:4]: B:]. In binary-form dances, the two sections are cut from the same musical cloth; in 
effect, the composer spins the whole dance from the same basic thread. The A and B sections differ, however, 
in their key plan. The A section begins in the tonic key, but as it approaches the end of the section, it 
modulates, or changes key, from the tonic to a second key (often the dominant). The B section reverses the 
process; here, we begin in the second key, and then, through another modulation, return to the tonic key. 

Baroque suites offered a rich diversity of dances, some of which betrayed their colorful national origins. 
The allemande was a German dance in duple meter, while the courante was a fast French dance in triple 
meter. Other dances included the sarabande, a slow dance in triple meter that may have been brought to 
Spain and Europe from Latin America, and the gigue, a lively dance in compound meter related to the 
English jig. 

Most Baroque suites were written for a solo instrument such as a harpsichord. But in the seventeenth 
century composers also began to produce suite-like series of dances for small groups of chamber ensembles. 
The most important was the trio sonata, introduced in Italy, which featured two solo treble instruments 
(often violins) and a bass instrument. In addition, a continuo instrument, usually a harpsichord or organ, 
played the bass line and filled in the harmonies. Thus, despite its name, the trio sonata usually required four 
musicians. 


21.5 Arcangelo Corelli 


The outstanding composer of trio sonatas was Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713). After an apprenticeship in 
Bologna, Italy, Corelli spent most of his career in Rome, where he enjoyed the patronage of the Church and 
amassed a considerable fortune. The composer was celebrated for his serene, angelic demeanor. He rose to 
become the leading violinist of his time as well as a highly sought-out violin teacher. Corelli’s reputation was 
secured through the wide distribution of his instrumental music, published in six collections between 1681 and 
1714 as Opus | through Opus 6. Op. 1-4 contained trio sonatas, while Op. 5 offered sonatas for solo violin and 
continuo. Op. 6 was a collection of twelve concertos, a Baroque instrumental genre discussed below and on 
pp. 160-63. 





Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713). 


By Corelli’s time, a distinction had emerged between instrumental compositions for church services and 
those for chamber settings. Accordingly, half of Corelli’s trio sonatas bear the title sonata da chiesa (church 
sonata), and the other half the title sonata da camera (chamber sonata). Church sonatas are generally in four 
movements. Although they may favor dance types common in the suite, church sonatas tend to use more 
complex musical textures that feature counterpoint. His chamber sonatas, on the other hand, are generally dance 
suites in three or four movements written in a lighter style. 

Corelli’s Trio Sonata Op. 3 No. 10 is a church sonata, and each of its four movements presents its own 
thematic material and bass line. Like a dance suite, the movements are performed at different tempos, in this 
case fast-fast-slow-fast (see Listening Map 14). Two violins play the top two lines, while a bass instrument 
plays the third line. An organ also plays the bass line, while realizing chords from the figured bass, filling in the 
gap between the bass line and the violins. 


>) LISTENING MAP yl 4 


ARCANGELO CORELLI, Trio Sonata in A Minor, Op. 3 No. 10 
{1689} 


AUDIO: Trio Sonata in A Minor 


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Church sonata in four movements | 


Two violins, bass instrument, and organ 


Written in four movements (fast-fast-slow-fast), Corelli’s Trio Sonata in A Minor features two 
violins accompanied by a bass and organ. The first movement, Vivace, introduces a stately theme in 


both violins. This leads to the lively second movement, with an interchange of themes between the 
two violins. The third movement, Adagio, is slower, with the two violins stating intertwining, 
ascending melodies. The sonata closes with a jig-like Allegro, which ends with a drop in dynamics 
as the piece concludes. 





() why to LISTEN 


Instrumental music was around long before Corelli, but he is the first composer we have discussed who 

did not write vocal music. He preferred instead to focus on music featuring his favored instrument, the violin. 

Corelli was the first major composer internationally acclaimed for his instrumental compositions. So when we 
listen to his trio sonatas, we should ask ourselves what we expect not only from Corelli, but from instrumental 
music in general. 

The violin can, in its own magical way, imitate the human voice and stir powerful human emotions. Baroque 
music was designed to do just that, with or without a text. So, in listening to Corelli’s trio sonata, imagine the 
two solo violins engaging in a musical dialogue, with the first violin (Corelli’s instrument) dominating, but the 
second violin occasionally having its say. And think of the four movements as projecting four contrasting 
moods, again not specified in words, but no less compelling. We might describe them as (1) stately and grand, 
(2) serious and involved, (3) introverted and pensive, and (4) animated and spirited. 


( ) first LISTEN 


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«-) «deeper LISTEN 


TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 


0:00 Brief introductory movement (repeated); chords and majestic rhythms, led by violin I 


0:51 


Fast movement in imitative style, launched by entries of violin I, violin II, and the bass 
Violin I 





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2:13 Brief, slow movement with expressive exchanges between violins I and II, climbing higher 


in pitch 





2:51 Fourth Jig-like fast movement in binary form, with each section repeated and with imitation 
Movement: between violins I and II; closes with sudden drop from loud to soft dynamics 
Allegro 


21.6 The Baroque Concerto 


Corelli was among the first Baroque composers to develop another new genre, the concerto, designed to 
showcase virtuosity in a more social context, with an orchestra. The main type of Baroque concerto was 
the concerto grosso (large concerto). It pitted a small group of soloists (a concertino) against a larger group of 
musicians (generally string players and a harpsichord) that made up the orchestra. The exchanges between these 
two groups gave the new instrumental genre dramatic pacing and musical vitality. 

Usually Baroque concertos were written in three separate movements: fast, slow, and fast. The outer 
movements often employed ritornello form, in which an orchestral opening theme (a ritornello, 
plural ritornelli) returned throughout between soloist passages. If we label the ritornelli R, and the solo sections 
S, the resulting form looks like this: 


RSRSRSR... (the number of ritornelli and soli can vary) 

What gives ritornello form its vitality is the contrast between the alternating sections. The fully orchestrated 
ritornelli are centered on particular keys and reuse thematic material announced in the first ritornello. The solo 
sections are much freer, and may include passages filled with virtuoso figurations. Typically, the solos are 
harmonically unstable, traversing a series of keys, and are thus not as anchored or predictable as the ritornelli. 


check your KNOWLEDGE 21 
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21.2 
21.3 
21.4 


PL 


Chapter 21 Quiz 


CHAPTER 


22 
Antonio Vivaldi 


The most productive and arguably most imaginative composer of Baroque concertos was Antonio Vivaldi 
(1678-1741). He produced nearly 500 of them, in addition to sacred music and some forty operas. Although he 
was an ordained priest (nicknamed the “Red Priest” because of his flowing red hair), Vivaldi served principally 
as music director of a Venetian orphanage/convent for girls. On Sundays and holidays, his highly trained, 
cloistered orchestra of pupils played his compositions. While performing, the forty or so young women were 
half concealed in a gallery behind latticework, as it was not considered proper for them to be seen in public 
performance. Vivaldi’s orchestral concerts became quite renowned in Italy and abroad, attracting tourists to 
Venice. His scores were soon in such demand that he traveled extensively and won international fame. 





Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741). 


Vivaldi once boasted that he could compose a concerto faster than a copyist could write out its parts (there is 
some evidence that he composed one of his operas in only five days). A distinguished violinist, he explored the 
technical resources of his instrument in hundreds of violin concertos. Many of these works featured rapidly 
played passages, covering the full range of the instrument and demanding a high level of skill from the 
performer. Vivaldi also wrote for less commonly used string and wind instruments such as the mandolin, the 
bassoon, and the piccolo. His output included not only concerti grossi but also solo concertos (those for one solo 
instrument and an orchestra), which eventually became the standard in the eighteenth century. 

Vivaldi gave fanciful titles to several concertos. He was an important proponent of program music: 
instrumental music that was meant to tell a story or explore nonmusical ideas, identified or hinted at by the title. 
He wrote concertos that evoked violent tempests, nocturnal settings, and dream states, and a series that imitated 
birds such as the goldfinch and cuckoo. There is even one concerto alluringly titled Pleasure. 

Most famous of all are his Four Seasons, a cycle of four concertos for solo violin and orchestra that depict 
spring, summer, fall, and winter. The score was published around 1725 accompanied by four anonymous 
sonnets, possibly written by the composer himself, which yield valuable clues about the music’s meaning. 
Vivaldi included lines from the sonnets within the appropriate part of the score, as if to encourage the soloist to 
contemplate the poetry while performing the music. The composer even wrote supplementary verbal cues into 
the score, including one tag for a persistent orchestral figure to suggest a barking dog in the slow movement 
of Spring. 


The four sonnets celebrate a natural, rural world. In Spring, we experience birdcalls, murmuring brooks, a 
thunderstorm, and a peasants’ dance. Summer depicts the stifling heat, languid breezes, and swarms of flies, 
while in Fall we encounter intoxicated peasants and a rousing hunt. Finally, Winter brings ice, bone-chilling 
cold, and chattering teeth. 





Detail from the eighteenth-century painting Spring by Antonio Diziani. 


Vivaldi intended to establish a series of one-to-one correspondences between his score and the poems. In our 
earlier discussion of the Renaissance madrigal (see p. 100), we encountered a similar technique, word painting. 
There, however, the technique was driven by a vocal text. In The Four Seasons, there is no sung text, just 
instruments. But there are also the four sonnets, presumably meant to be read before a performance, to enhance 
our understanding of the music. 

Program music is most explicit when it imitates something that itself makes sounds. Here, we consider the 
first movement of Spring (Listening Map 15). When the solo violin trills on its high string a few measures 
into Spring, the sounds actually resemble birdcalls. These trills musically interpret the second line of the sonnet, 
“Greeted by birds with cheerful song.” To represent the thunder of the sixth line, rapidly repeated pitches create 
the effect of an agitated rumbling. To convey the joyfulness of spring in the first line, there is no one-to-one 
equivalent, but the bright orchestral opening connotes a joyful mood. 

Down through the centuries, musicians and scholars have debated the extent to which music can depict 
things, ideas, and subjects that lie beyond the notes. But many composers found inspiration in techniques similar 
to Vivaldi’s. Less than seventy years after his death, another composer, Ludwig van Beethoven, included 
birdcalls and thunder in his “Pastoral” Symphony. Like The Four Seasons, it became one of the most celebrated 
pieces of classical music. 


>) LISTENING MAP yl 5 


ANTONIO VIVALDI, Spring from The Four Seasons, Op. 8 No. 1, First Movement 
{CA. 1725} 


AUDIO: Spring from The Four Seasons 


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Concerto (first movement) 
Solo violin, string orchestra, and harpsichord (continuo) 


The first movement of Spring mirrors the imagery of the included sonnet: 


Spring has joyfully come @) 
Greeted by birds with cheerful song, @) 


And springs, stirred by gentle breezes, 

Flow with sweet murmuring. (3) 

Covering the sky with a black cloak. 

Lightning and thunder announce the season. @ 
When they have dispersed, the little birds 

Return to enchant with their singing. @ 


In ritornello form, the movement alternates between five ritornelli for the entire ensemble and four 
passages that feature the solo violin. 





() why to LISTEN 


As a celebrated example of Baroque program music, The Four Seasons raises again the questions of what we 
expect from music, and what music can or cannot provide. Strictly speaking, The Four Seasons is a collection of 
four concertos, just a miniscule fraction of Vivaldi’s total output of more than 500. But the special title alerts us 
to the principal reason to listen: Vivaldi meant The Four Seasons to be about the seasons of the year, not just the 
notes on the page. Even going as far as marking particular passages with lines of poetry, he was musically 
celebrating the spring, summer, fall, and winter seasons. 


( )Jfirst LISTEN 


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«-) «deeper LISTEN 


TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 






@ Sprightly opening featuring full orchestra; two ideas, (a) and (5), each 
performed jf andthen P 
a 










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@) Trills and high notes in solo violin to simulate birdcalls 







TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 












1:10 (3) Orchestra repeats (b)(_ f°) from Ritornello 1, then introduces a flowing 


figure to suggest astream( =), and concludes with(b)( f) 
1:51 @ Rapid pitches and sweeping scales in orchestra depict a thunderstorm; rapid 
passagework in the high register of the solo violin 

2:19 


2:28 


Orchestra repeats (b)(___f), but in a minor key 

@®) More birdcalls in the solo violin, answered by violins 
2:44 
2:55 
3:10 


Orchestra reuses a modified version of (a) 
Final solo with ascending, running figure in the violin supported by the continuo 
Final ritornello, based on (a), performed f andthen Pp 

Vivaldi enjoyed great acclaim during his lifetime but died in poverty. His vast quantity of music was more or 
less forgotten until its rediscovery in the twentieth century, but what an extraordinary posthumous comeback. At 
last count, there are over 200 recordings of The Four Seasons, snippets of which have been appropriated for 
motion pictures, commercials, and ringtones. Vivaldi’s enduring fame has proved a double-edged sword: critics 
complain that much of his music is repetitive, and filled with threadbare, theatrical effects. That may be, but in 


his day, reports of his great technique and imaginative concertos reached well beyond Italy. This news caught the 
attention of a German musician then studying the new Italian concertos. His name was Johann Sebastian Bach. 


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Chapter 22 Quiz 


CHAPTER 


23 


Johann Sebastian Bach’s Life and 
Career 


With Johann Sebastian Bach we reach a figure so dominant that he came to be viewed as embodying 
Baroque music. Further, some see his work as summing up developments in Western music extending back 
to the Renaissance. In German, Bach means “brook,” but as Ludwig van Beethoven proclaimed, “His name 
should be ocean, not brook!” Beethoven was just one among many admirers who studied Bach’s music 
deeply. Indeed, it is difficult to name a major composer from Mozart on who did not have ties to Bach’s 
legacy. It is equally difficult to name a major earlier composer who cast such a long shadow on the course of 
European music. 





Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). 


Today, aspiring classical musicians test their skill on J. S. Bach’s keyboard works, especially The Well- 
Tempered Clavier. These two encyclopedic cycles of pieces written in all twenty-four major and minor keys 
—forty-eight pieces in all—are among the most intellectually challenging keyboard pieces ever composed. 
Bach’s church cantatas (in the hundreds), his St. Matthew and St. John Passions, and his Mass in B minor 
may well be the greatest achievements of Western sacred music. His concertos, suites, and organ 
compositions exemplify Baroque instrumental music in all its intensity and finery. And his late masterpieces, 
The Musical Offering and The Art of Fugue, are monuments to the art of counterpoint. 

Acclaim did not always greet Bach during his lifetime or immediately afterward, however. In his day, he 
was known as a brilliant church organist, but he enjoyed little international standing as a composer. One 
reason is that, unlike his great contemporary Handel (see Chapter 26), Bach did not travel much, but lived 
and worked within a fairly small area of central Germany. Few composers matched his productivity, 
although, incredibly, little of his music was published at the time of his death. Full recognition of his 
achievement came later, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. When he died in 1750, he was quickly 
forgotten, and few had any sense of the full scope of his work. 


23.1 Bach’s Early Life and Career Beginnings 


Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) came from a long line of musicians reaching back into the sixteenth 
century. In turn, several of Bach’s own children—he fathered twenty—carried on that tradition. He once 
boasted that he could assemble a worthy musical ensemble just by calling on members of his own family. In 
fact, two of his sons, Carl Philipp Emanuel and Johann Christian Bach, were better known during their 
lifetimes than their father. 

J. S. Bach was born in Eisenach, a small town in central Germany. He probably received his first musical 
instruction from his father, who died when the boy was ten, leaving him to be raised by an elder brother. 
After assuming minor posts as an organist, in 1708 Bach became court organist in Weimar. There, he 
maintained and repaired organs while composing the majority of his organ works. One celebrated work he 
possibly composed in Weimar was the Toccata and Fugue in D minor. (A toccata was a baroque 
instrumental composition, typically for harpsichord or organ, in a virtuoso, free style). Today this music can 
be heard in films, rock music, and video games. 


23.2 The Move to Cothen 


In 1717 Bach was offered a new position at the court of Céthen, today about two hours’ drive from Weimar. 
The Duke of Weimar did not immediately release him from service, however, and in fact had him 
imprisoned. Ultimately, he did grant the composer his freedom, and Bach and his family moved on to 
Cothen. 

As music director in Céthen (1717-1723), Bach wrote instrumental works for the music-loving prince. 
The composer gathered many of them into collections, including six cello suites, the first volume of The 
Well-Tempered Clavier, and the six Brandenburg Concertos. He also produced keyboard pieces to help his 
second wife, Anna Magdalena, master the instrument. She was a professional singer who bore thirteen of 
Bach’s children. 


23.3 Final Years in Leipzig 


In 1723 the family moved to Leipzig (pronounced “Lipe-tzig”), where he served as music director. He was 
responsible for composing music for the city’s civic functions and principal churches, including St. Thomas, 
where his remains are now buried. He was also expected to instruct Latin at the Thomas School, an adjacent 
boarding school for boys. It was a task he particularly disliked. 

Since the Reformation, Leipzig had enjoyed a rich musical tradition. Bach was determined not only to 
preserve but also improve the city’s music life. The local authorities found his musical standards too high, 
however. Inevitably, tensions arose over his ambitious musical plans for the city. Still, he remained in Leipzig 
for nearly thirty years, where he coped with a demanding work schedule. 





Na ee : 
A statue of Bach by Carl Seffner stands outside the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, Germany. 


For the weekly church services, which often lasted nearly four hours, Bach produced organ preludes, motets, 
and chorale arrangements. His major contributions were cycles of church cantatas, medium-length narrative 
works for soloists, chorus, and orchestra. These compositions served as the musical highpoint of the service and 
generally followed the reading of the Gospel text. In his first two years in Leipzig, Bach wrote a new cantata 
every week. In all, he composed nearly 300 cantatas, or five annual cycles, of which about 100 are lost. For 
several years, he also directed the Collegium musicum, an ensemble of professional musicians and university 
students who performed weekly public concerts. 


MAKING CONNECTIONS Bach’s Children and Wives 





Between 1708 and 1742 Bach fathered twenty (yes, twenty) children, of whom only half survived to 
adulthood. Several became musicians who had important careers of their own, including Wilhelm 
Friedemann Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, and Johann Christian Bach. (A five-year-old prodigy, 
Mozart, met J. C., known as the “London Bach,” and played duets with him.) 

Seven of Bach’s children were from his first marriage, to Maria Barbara Bach, about whom little is 
known, other than that she came from a musical family. Her passing was a tragic shock. In 1720 the 


composer accompanied his employer, the Prince of Céthen, to a holiday at a spa. Bach returned several 
weeks later only to learn that his previously healthy wife had suddenly died. After the composer remarried, 
he had thirteen more children with Anna Magdalena Bach, a singer and skilled musician who produced 
copies of her husband’s music. 


Toward the end of his life, in 1747, Bach visited the Prussian court of Frederick the Great in Potsdam, near 
Berlin. There he improvised on a subject invented by Frederick, a “royal theme” that formed the basis of 
Bach’s Musical Offering. During the 1740s, he was also at work on another monumental instrumental cycle, The 
Art of Fugue. He intended its closing theme to be a contrapuntal treatment of the letters of his own name. In 
German musical notation, B-A-C-H corresponds to these notes: 


; B A Cc H 
e i" 
Bb A G Ba 


Ex. 24.1 


During his last years Bach suffered from gradual vision loss. When he died in 1750, he left to posterity the 
unfinished Art of Fugue. Incredibly, the great bulk of his music—the official catalogue runs to over 1,100 
compositions—existed only in manuscript and quickly fell into obscurity. It was almost a century before much 
of it was fully rediscovered. 


check your KNOWLEDGE 23 


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23.2 
23.3 


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Chapter 23 Quiz 


CHAPTER 


24 


Bach’s Instrumental Music 


Bach reigned supreme in the field of Baroque solo keyboard music, and produced a vast quantity for the organ 
and for the harpsichord. He also wrote a considerable amount of chamber and orchestral music. He was equally 
versatile in all the principal instrumental genres of the day, whether writing short preludes, or longer sonatas, 
suites, trio sonatas, or concertos. And he could write for solo instruments, small chamber ensembles, or 
orchestras. Among his most impressive achievements were several compositions for solo violin and solo cello, 
that is, without any accompanying instruments. Bach seems to have set these works as a particular challenge, to 
test, for example, what a solo violin, unassisted by other instruments, could do. 


Video 24.1: J. S. Bach’s Music for Solo Violin. Among Bach’s many compositions were works created for solo violin. Bach 
often employed double stops—playing two strings at once—taking advantage of the instrument’s unique capabilities to play 
melody and accompaniment simultaneously. Larry Todd describes one of Bach’s best-known works for solo violin, his Violin 
Sonata No. 2 in A minor (BMV 1003), Andante. Katharina Uhde performs. 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 


As impressive as this output was, however, there was one Baroque genre in which he excelled above all 
others. Fugues are an intellectually demanding display of counterpoint, a complex musical puzzle to be solved, 
yet Bach could produce them almost on demand. Viewed as the summit of counterpoint, fugues appealed 
especially to connoisseurs trained to appreciate their intricacies. But by the time Bach died, fugues—at least the 
more formal, academic types—were falling out of fashion. This trend may be one reason why Bach’s skillful 
examples faded for a while, only to be rediscovered when his music was eventually reclaimed from oblivion. 


24.1 Bach and the Fugue 


The fugue, which can be either an instrumental or vocal composition, is descended from the rich tradition of 
Renaissance imitative polyphony. The word itself comes from the Latin fuga, meaning “flight.” (In the field of 
psychiatry, a “dissociative fugue” or “fugue state” is a disorder in which patients temporarily lose their sense of 
identity and often wander.) In a fugue, separate musical lines, or parts, successively state a theme known as 
the subject, the basis for the entire composition. The number of parts determines the complexity of the fugue. In 
a common arrangement, the fugue has four parts: soprano, alto, tenor, and bass. (These terms are used regardless 
of whether the fugue calls for vocal or instrumental performers.) Most fugues range from two to four or five 
parts, and more parts mean greater complexity. 





Page from the first edition of The Art of Fugue by J. S. Bach, published in 1752. The engraver added the floral decorations to fill 
out the page. 


Bach’s fugues begin with the fugal exposition: one part starts alone by announcing the subject in the tonic 
key. The second part then presents the subject in the dominant key, in a statement called the answer. Then, the 
remaining parts enter, alternating between the subject and the answer, until every part has appeared. Figure 
24.1 shows a fugal exposition in four parts, with a subject in the soprano, an answer in the tenor, another 
statement of the subject in the alto, and another answer in the bass. 








(New or derived material} 
Soprano Subject 
Alto Subject —.__. wesw 
Tenor Answer 
Bass Answer 


FIG 24.1 Typical Exposition for Fugue in Four Parts. Note that the parts may enter in other orders. 


With each new entrance, the listener has to begin following more and more parts, which can become a 
demanding proposition. 

After the exposition, the rest of a fugue generally consists of passages known as episodes, which alternate 
with additional statements of the subject. The material of the episodes may be new or derived from the subject. 
While the subjects are centered on specific keys, the episodes tend to be harmonically flexible and unstable. 

Controlling all the subjects and episodes is challenging enough, yet Bach sometimes added further layers of 
complexity. In mirror inversion, he reversed the melodic shape of the subject, so that it appeared upside down. 
In augmentation, he doubled the rhythmic values of the subject, slowing it down to a leisurely pace. 
In diminution, he cut the rhythmic values in half, so that it sped up. And in stretto (from the Italian for 
“narrow’), he collapsed the distance between entries of the subject so that they overlapped tightly. One 
technique Bach frequently used was the pedal point, in which one pitch is held for several measures while the 
other voices continue above or around it. All these special fugal techniques reinforce the idea that fugues are an 
intellectual pursuit: they appeal to the rational, problem-solving parts of our brains. In the hands of a great 
composer such as Bach, fugues can also evoke a powerful emotional response. On pages 158 and 159 we 
explore one of Bach’s most celebrated organ works, known as the Little Fugue in G minor (Listening Map 16). 
Bach wrote it sometime during his Weimar period (1708-1717). 


MAKING CONNECTIONS Fugues beyond Music 





While fugues are strongly associated with the Baroque compositions of J. S. Bach, their complex patterns 
occasionally have inspired nonmusical examples. In the nineteenth century, the English essayist Thomas De 
Quincey, who experimented with opium, described one of his drug-induced hallucinations as a “dream 
fugue.” In the twentieth century, James Joyce revealed that an episode in his epic, stream-of-consciousness 
novel Ulysses (1922) used a fugal structure. 

Modernist twentieth-century painters found connections between fugues and abstract colors and shapes. 
Shown here are two paintings titled Fugue: one by Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky (1914), the other by 
German artist Josef Albers (1925). What parallels do you see between Kandinsky’s repeating curvilinear 
motifs and Bach’s Fugue in G minor? How about between the fugue and Albers’s geometric dash-like 
patterns? 





Wassily Kandinsky, Fugue (1914). 


ll 





Josef Albers, Fugue (1925). 


>) LISTENING MAP I 6 


J. 8. BACH, “Little” Fugue in G Minor for Organ 
{CA. 1708-1717} 


AUDIO: “Little” Fugue in G Minor for Organ 


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Four-part fugue 


In the exposition (opening) of this fugue, the subject and answer alternate in parts of descending 
order: soprano, alto, tenor, and bass @. Having established the conversation among the four 


parts, Bach alternates episodes with entries of the subject, sustaining an energetic, rhythmic flow. 


All told, the subject appears nine times: four in the exposition, then five more times scattered 
throughout the composition. The most unusual subject entry is the fifth, divided between the tenor 
and soprano parts, above a pedal point in the bass @. After the last, sturdy entrance appears in 
the bass, Bach ends with a surprise: instead of a final minor chord, he substitutes a bright major 
chord (3). Baroque composers often used this device to give works in minor keys an arresting 
closure by unexpectedly using the major-key version of the tonic. 





@) why to LISTEN 


The abstract reasoning needed to solve math problems is not unlike that needed to compose or analyze fugues. 
Performing and listening to music such as a fugue, which especially emphasizes counterpoint, stimulates the 
mathematically inclined areas of our brains. No wonder, then, that Bach was compared to one of the most 
profound scientific geniuses of all time, Isaac Newton. 

There is something inherently beautiful and satisfying about how the parts of Bach’s Little Fugue in G minor 
fit together. Like the colors of a kaleidoscope, they reshape themselves in ever new combinations. The entire 
composition is unified around the fugal subject, which we hear nine times. That’s the predictable, stable element 
of the music: we know that the subject will return. We do not know where it will appear, however. Bach’s fugue 
thus offers both repetitions and variety, and also something more. As the Irish playwright and music critic G. B. 
Shaw observed, Bach’s fugues can somehow “summon all the emotions that have been worthily expressed in 
music.” 


Yy first LISTEN 


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«-) «deeper LISTEN 


TIME PART LISTEN FOR THIS 


0:00 @ Main theme stated in alternating subjects and answers in parts of descending order. The 
subject begins with a soprano part (S) outlining the tonic triad before shifting to faster pitches. 
The answer then enters in the alto (A) below, followed by the subject in the tenor (T), then an 


answer in the bass (B), which is played in the pedals of the organ. 


S (tonic) 





2 (dominant) 
T 
3 (tonic) 


B 
4 (dominant) 


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1:20 Free section 

1:32 @) Subject stated in tenor, continuing in soprano, with pedal point in bass 
1:51 

2:01 Alto 

2:17 

2:29 Bass 

2:45 

3:03 Soprano 

3:20 

3:51 

4:10 (3) Surprise final major chord 





24.2 Bach’s Concertos 


Though Bach did not travel beyond German realms, he could imitate English or French tastes in his music and 
he was a serious student of Italian Baroque music. When composing his concertos, Bach drew on Corelli and 
Vivaldi. He followed their use of contrasting orchestral and solo groups, and took over the ritornelloprinciple of 
recurring, refrain-like sections (see p. 143). Several of Bach’s concertos are for one or more harpsichords and 
orchestra, or for one or more violins and orchestra. 

His masterpieces in the genre are the six Brandenburg Concertos, dedicated to Christian Ludwig, the 
Margrave (hereditary noble title for certain German princes) of Brandenburg (a territory surrounding Berlin). 
During a visit to Berlin, Bach had played for the margrave, who requested some compositions. In response, Bach 
sent the Brandenburg Concertos in 1721, with a formal dedication written not in German but in French, the 
preferred language at court. Dating these concertos is difficult, but most likely they were composed before 1721 
and then selected by the composer for the margrave. 

The Brandenburg Concertos feature an assortment of solo instruments accompanied by a string orchestra and 
continuo. For instance, the brightly hued No. 2 groups a trumpet, a recorder, an oboe, and a violin, while No. 4 
offers softer tints from its solo group of one violin and two recorders. In the case of the Fifth Brandenburg 
Concerto, the orchestra consists of strings in four parts (first and second violins, violas, and cellos and double 
bass), while the solo group consists of a flute, violin, and harpsichord. The harpsichord actually plays two roles: 
one as a continuo instrument, and one as a solo instrument (the first such use in a concerto). 





Handwritten dedication of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos to Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenburg, 1721. 
Staatsbibliothek, Berlin, Germany/Bridgeman Images. 


Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 has three movements: fast, slow, and fast. The first movement (see Listening 
Map 17) follows the ritornello principle common in Italian Baroque concertos. It features breath-taking solos, 
particularly for the harpsichord. 

Toward the end of the first movement, the harpsichordist performs a dramatic cadenza (an extended, 
virtuoso passage for a soloist alone). 


>) LISTENING MAP I 7 


J.S. BACH, Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major, First Movement 


{1721 OR EARLIER} 


AUDIO: Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, First Movement 


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Ritornello form, alternating between orchestra and soloists 
Violin, flute, harpsichord, and orchestra 


The main body of the movement alternates between solo sections and statements of the ritornello 
for the orchestra. In all, there are seventeen sections in this chain-like movement—nine ritornelli 
(R) for orchestra and eight solos (S). The first and last ritornelli, R1 and R9, present complete 


statements of the ritornello theme in the tonic key. Like tonal pillars, they support the endpoints of 
the structure. In contrast, R2-R8 offer abbreviated statements of the ritornello in different keys. As 
we proceed into the movement, the solos become more prominent. But these exchanges pale in 
comparison to the final solo, S8. The rapid harpsichord scales return as Bach thins out the texture to 
prepare for the cadenza. Much of this harpsichord cadenza unfolds above a pedal point in the bass 
register, building tension that resolves with the return of the orchestra in the tonic key (R9). 





() why to LISTEN 


To describe Bach as a musical multitasker is no mere cliché. He approached composition as a musical challenge 
to be solved in multiple ways. So the six Brandenburg Concertos offer six different ways of writing concertos 
after the Italian concerto grosso model. Each had its own combination of instruments. The Fifth Brandenburg 
brilliantly shows how Bach’s music could operate simultaneously on different levels. For example, in the first 
movement, the harpsichord, though just one instrument, plays two roles—it can blend into the orchestra, or it 
can emerge as a virtuoso soloist. In the second movement, there is no orchestra, just three soloists. Effectively, 
Bach changed genres from concerto to chamber music. And for the third movement, with the orchestra now 
restored, Bach wrote a gigue-like dance as if it were a fugue. Nothing is ever simple or straightforward in Bach, 
which is precisely why his music is so challenging. It pushes the human mind to new levels of envisioning and 
understanding music. And that is why his music can be so rewarding, and why we should listen. 


( ) first LISTEN 


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«-) «deeper LISTEN 


TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 


0:00 Complete statement of ritornello on the tonic, played by the full orchestra; pulsating rhythms; 
harpsichord serves as a continuo instrument Ascending skips then descending scale. 


Allegro 





Skips Scale 


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0:25 Short motive exchanged between flute and violin; harpsichord emerges as a solo instrument, 


sustaining the rhythmic energy 


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0:49 Abbreviated 


0:54 








1:13 Abbreviated 

1:19 

1:37 Abbreviated 

1:42 Harpsichord more prominent, breaks into rapid, sweeping runs 

2:19 Abbreviated 

2:25 Extended solo; new motive exchanged between the flute and violin 

3:56 Abbreviated 

4:01 

4:42 Abbreviated 

4:52 

5:17 Abbreviated 

5:23 Rapid figurations in the harpsichord; orchestra and soloists drop out; harpsichord performs a 
long cadenza; pedal point in the bass 

8:44 Final, complete statement of ritornello on the tonic 





R = Ritornello; S = Solo 


check your KNOWLEDGE 24 


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24.1 
24.2 
24.3 
24.4 


PL 


Chapter 24 Quiz 


CHAPTER 


25 
Bach’s Sacred Music 


Bach was a devout Lutheran composer, and as the Leipzig music director for nearly thirty years, he provided 
music for Sunday services. He is remembered especially for his post at the St. Thomas Church and its 
affiliated school. Founded in 1212, the school was the residence of a boys’ choir, which stills performs 
Bach’s music regularly in the church. But Bach was also active at other Leipzig churches, in particular St. 
Nicholas, dating back to the very beginnings of the city in 1165. To serve the musical needs of both parish 
churches, he designed a grueling schedule of performances that alternated between the two. 

Almost weekly, Bach composed a new church cantata, a large-scale composition for vocal soloists, 
chorus, and orchestra on texts related to the weekly sermons and Gospel readings. Each annual cycle 
required about sixty cantatas for the Sunday services and special feast days. All told, he probably composed 
five annual cycles of cantatas, although only three cycles, about 200 cantatas, survive more or less intact. 

Bach was well versed in the theology of his time and took his faith quite seriously. Upon finishing a 
composition, he habitually inscribed at the end “Soli Deo gratia” (‘Praise be to God alone”). Bach’s 
monumental St. Matthew Passion, which premiered at St. Thomas in 1727, is a musical depiction and 
commentary on the Passion of Christ. In preparing the manuscript, he took special care, using red ink for the 
texts drawn from the Bible and black for nonbiblical texts. 


25.1 Bach’s Cantatas 


Bach’s cantatas make up the largest part of his sacred music. As we have seen (p. 132), the cantata arose in 
seventeenth-century Italy as a vocal composition in several movements, usually for solo voice and continuo 
accompaniment. Early Italian cantatas employed mostly secular texts. By the turn to the eighteenth century, 
however, German composers had begun writing cantatas with sacred texts and chorales, hymn tunes commonly 
used in Lutheran worship. German cantatas mixed choral movements with recitatives and arias for soloists. They 
were typically accompanied by a string orchestra that might be augmented by wind instruments and, on festive 
occasions, by brass and timpani. 

Bach based many of his cantatas on Lutheran chorales, which formed a familiar part of the weekly worship. 
Throughout the seventeenth century, German composers had steadily continued writing chorales. Typically, 
Bach’s chorale cantatas begin with a polyphonic choral movement built on a melody, and they conclude with a 
simple homophonic setting of the same melody. Between the endpoints, the individual movements often contain 
virtuoso music for solo singers and solo instruments. Usually, a recitative introduces a solo aria. The texts of 
these internal movements consist either of additional verses of the chorale or of devotional poetry. 

Bach wrote his seven-movement Cantata No. 140 for performance in Leipzig several weeks before 
Christmas in 1731. The seven movements follow a carefully worked-out plan. The endpoints and center of the 
composition (movement nos. 1, 4, and 7) employ the chorale melody. The other movements (nos. 2—3, 5—6) form 
two pairs of recitatives and arias. The cantata is scored for solo singers, a chorus, and an orchestra that includes 
two oboes, an oboe da caccia (a lower-range oboe), a horn, a violino piccolo (a small violin), strings in four parts 
(first violins, second violins, violas, and bass instruments), and continuo. 

The text of the chorale, written at the end of the sixteenth century, concerns Christ’s parable of the ten wise 
and foolish virgins (Matthew 25). Five brought oil for their lamps; five did not. Only the wise (who had brought 
oil) were rewarded and could greet the bridegroom (the Savior), who arrived at midnight. The last line of the 
parable, “Keep awake then, for you never know the day or the hour,” prompts the opening line of the chorale 
text, “Awaken, the voice summons us,” a call for the faithful to be vigilant as they await Christ’s Second 
Coming, the symbolic wedding. Figure 25.1 shows the famous chorale melody, still sung in Protestant churches, 
sometimes to the text “Sleepers, Wake.” (See also Listening Map 18.) 


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— rae , ves 
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veh or Fo-4a4 fo aay ihe = teh phn At 
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ns ie ere a 
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me, me dag OE oi tates SNE hed ico Fase 
‘ > ry fe: sh pow jatytt | cra eee a teats 
yee ss TY, tt ; oN ds Om erat ae oe tant 
Sw By = ed Dae Es a per - 
ik fee : TSR ok: al dob SMEs 7 n 
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Samah Sn aS seem HE Des eA UE pe pepe 


uy 7 et td Mb ht 2B stees ty +e dys 
a ae i th a Ea he ad a i 
fer 


Handwritten score for Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, with the biblical text in red. De Agostini Picture Library/Bridgeman Images. 





1. Wa- chet auf! ruft uns die Stim - me, 
4. Mit - ter -nacht heisst die - se Stun - de, 











2. Der Wach-ter sehr hoch auf der Zin = ne, 
5. Sie ru - fen uns mit hel - lem Mund -_ de: 















ee ee ee ee 
7 ee ee Oe | 
e 5 NS 
3. Wach auf, du Stadt Je - m - sa - lem! 
6. Wo seid ihr klu = gen’ Jung= frau = en? 





7. Wohl auf, der Briut - gam kommt,__ 


2S a 2 a ee ee ee ee ee == Se 
PP et a 
sl! es ee Oe ee eee ee eee 


: 7 
8. Steht auf, die Lam - pen nehmt!____ 








11. Ihr miis - set ihm ent - ge- gen gehn! 
FIG. 25.1 Chorale melody of Cantata No. 140. 


Figure Animations: Chorale melody of Cantata No. 140 


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This melody falls into several phrases, all coming to a pause or full ending. It fills out a three-part 
form, AAB. A presents the first three phrases, which are repeated. B continues with five more phrases, of which 
the last repeats the third phrase of A, giving the melody a rounded symmetry. This soaring melody reaches two 
high points that illustrate references in the text to the watchmen on high who await the Savior, and to the 
anticipated wedding of the Savior and the Soul. 


MAKING CONNECTIONS 





The St. Thomas and St. Nicholas Churches of Leipzig have long, storied histories, even beyond their 
association with Bach. In 1539 Martin Luther preached at St. Thomas, effectively bringing the Protestant 
Reformation to Leipzig. Several famous musicians who came after Bach either visited the church (Mozart, 
possibly Beethoven) or were connected with it through their employment (Mendelssohn). During the 
Napoleonic Wars in the early 1800s, the church served as an ammunition depot for French armies. During 
the Second World War, it sustained damage when Allied bombs struck the bell tower. But it remains first 
and foremost a shrine for Bach lovers. The composer’s remains were reinterred there in 1950, and outside 
stand two monuments to him. 





St. Thomas Church. 


The St. Nicholas Church played an unexpected role on the world stage in 1989, when it became the 
center of peaceful protests against the communist regime of East Germany. Even though the church was 
surrounded by the military and infiltrated by the Stasi (the secret police), the peaceful protests continued. 
The thousands of Leipzig citizens who held candles in the face of oppression are credited with helping 
topple the Berlin Wall, which had divided Germans for decades. 





St. Nicholas Church. 


>) LISTENING MAP yl 5 


J. S. BACH, Cantata No. 140, Wachet auf (Sleepers, Awake!), First Movement 
{1731} 


AUDIO: Cantata No. 140, Wachet auf 


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A chorus and an orchestra, including two oboes, oboe da caccia, horn, violino piccolo, strings in 
four parts (first and second violins, violas, and bass instruments), and continuo 


The cantata opens with the orchestra. Its driving energy comes from the steady tread of the bass line 
(known as a walking bass), which symbolically represents the approach of the Savior. In addition, 
Bach works with two thematic ideas: 


* (a), a rhythmic figure (long-short) associated with royalty 


¢ (b), a surging figure that eventually breaks into an extravagant flourish of ascending scales 


Now the chorus enters. The sopranos sing the first phrase of the chorale in long notes, as the 
other choral voices embellish them by moving in more nimble rhythms (a). The mixture of these 
parts creates a rich polyphony. The orchestra sustains a backdrop of music drawn from the opening. 
Between the phrases of the chorale, the orchestra asserts its pulsing rhythms and soaring scales. 
And so the movement proceeds, with phrase after phrase of the chorale alternating with orchestral 
interludes. But one surprise awaits us. For the word “Alleluia,” Bach introduces a fugal passage 
before the chorus turns to the ninth phrase of the chorale melody (3). By the end of this stately 
movement, the rich tapestry of polyphonic sound has prepared us for the arrival of Christ as Savior. 





@) why to LISTEN 


While the St. Matthew Passion was in many senses the epitome of Bach’s career as a church musician, his 
hundreds of cantatas served a more practical function. They had to be composed rapidly, to meet the weekly 
demands of the Lutheran liturgical calendar. Nevertheless, Bach’s devotion to his craft in these works is 
impressive, to say the least. A cantata such as No. 140 was designed as more than a musical interlude in the St. 
Thomas service for which it was written. What Bach accomplished here was a kind of musical sermon about the 
parable of the ten wise and foolish virgins. For the faithful, his music captures the essence of the parable. This 
music projects an avowedly Christian message, as it also attempts to capture the spiritual force of music. 


( )Jirst LISTEN 


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«—-) 2 deeper LISTEN 


TIME SECTION TEXT TRANSLATION LISTEN FOR THIS 


TIME 


SECTION 


TEXT TRANSLATION LISTEN FOR THIS 


0:00 Statement of two themes (a) and 


(b) with ground bass accompaniment 
































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0:32 Wachet auf, ruft Awaken, the voice @) Long notes in soprano, 
uns die Stimme summons us supported by chorus 
0:49 
0:56 Der Wachter sehr High atop the tower 
hoch auf der the watchman calls, 
Zinne 
1:18 
1:24 Wach auf, du Awaken, O town of 
Stadt Jerusalem! Jerusalem! 
1:44 
2:14 Mitternacht heisst This hour is 
diese Stunde, midnight, 
2:33 
2:39 Sie rufen uns mit | They summon us 
hellem Munde: with cheerful 
voices: 
3:01 
3:11 Wo seid ihr, Where are you, 
klugen wise virgins? 
Jungfrauen? 
3:29 
3:51 Wohl auf, der Arise, the 
Brdutgam kommt, bridegroom comes, 
4:06 
4:11 Steht auf, die Arise, and take 
Lampen nehmt! your lamps! 
4:25 
4:27 Alleluia Alleluia (3) Choral fugal passage 
5:11 
5:18 Tenth chorale phrase Macht euch bereit Prepare yourselves Brief interlude at 5:30 and then repeats 
zu der Hochzeit for the wedding, verse 
5:51 Orchestral interlude 
5:54 Eleventh chorale Thr miisset ihm You must go out to 





phrase (same as third 


phrase) 


entgegengehn! 


greet him! 


TIME SECTION TEXT TRANSLATION LISTEN FOR THIS 


6:15 Orchestral postlude 
(repeat of introduction) 


25.2 Bach’s Other Religious Music 


By any measure, Bach’s cantatas, to which he devoted the greater part of his career, are supreme creations in Western music. 
Still, he did write other sacred music that surpasses the cantatas in sheer scale. The imposing St. John Passion and St. 
Matthew Passion draw on scripture and devotional poetry to treat the Passion of Christ. These masterpieces match the scale 
of Handel’s great oratorios (see Chapter 27). Unlike Handel’s oratorios, however, Bach’s Passions were written for church 
and use chorales, a feature that ties them to the chorale cantatas and to Lutheran worship. 

More monumental is Bach’s Mass in B minor, which cost him years of work. He began composing sections for the Latin 
Ordinary of the Mass (see p. 57) in the 1720s. Only toward the end of his life was he able to assemble the movements into 
this sprawling, complex work. The length of the Mass in B minor made it unsuitable for performance during a service. Bach 
seems to have intended it to demonstrate what a composer could do in setting the Mass, in an ideal vision of worship. 


check your KNOWLEDGE 25 


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25.1 
25.2 
25.3 
25.4 


Q 
Chapter 25 Quiz 


CHAPTER 


26 


George Frideric Handel 


To close off our discussion of Baroque music, we turn to George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), Bach’s great contemporary 
and the second master of the late Baroque. He was a man of the world who studied in Italy and worked in Germany before 
settling in England. Handel excelled in vividly rendering human dramas into music. He was known at first for his Italian 
operas. Later, he turned to oratorios (Chapter 27), which featured dramatic versions of biblical stories set to music. Handel’s 
English oratorios became the basis of his continuing fame long after his death. Beginning in the nineteenth century, popular 
choral societies regularly performed oratorios such as Israel in Egypt and, most famous of all, Messiah. 





George Frideric Handel (1685-1759). 


A keyboard virtuoso, Handel astounded the English with his improvisations. In addition to keyboard suites, he wrote 
organ concertos for performance between the acts of his oratorios. Handel also created occasional music, or music for 
special occasions. His great instrumental work Water Music was performed during a royal outing on the Thames River. The 
Music for the Royal Fireworks, written for a large orchestra, celebrated a treaty ending one of the many wars that embroiled 
England and European monarchies. 





MAKING CONNECTIONS Handel versus Bach: Two Baroque Titans Compared 


Handel and Bach were both born into the Lutheran faith in central Germany; they were both distinguished virtuosos on 
the harpsichord and organ; and they became the leading representatives of the late Baroque in music. But their careers 
took decisively different turns. Well-traveled and cosmopolitan in outlook, Handel was an international celebrity, 
equally in his element composing Italian opera, English oratorios, Catholic and Anglican church music, and ceremonial 
anthems. Bach’s sphere of activity remained centered in central Germany. He was a Lutheran church musician, and he 
devoted the greater part of his career to writing a staggering amount of music for the principal Leipzig parish churches. 

Handel was a man of the theater, who understood how to use dramatic gestures in his music. Bach, on the other 
hand, though he showed power and drama in his music, took an introverted turn toward the learned forms of 
counterpoint. His many complex fugues challenged the intellectual abilities of most musicians. Handel was also a 
seasoned master of counterpoint, and he took the discipline quite seriously, but in comparison to Bach he was not 
showy about his learning. 

Though Handel and Bach never met, both suffered a devastating condition in their last years—they went blind. By a 
twist of fate, they were patients of the same physician, a traveling, somewhat disreputable English surgeon named John 
Taylor. The surgeon operated on Bach in Leipzig and on Handel several years later in London but was unable to restore 
the sight of either. 


26.1 Handel’s Life and Career 


Handel was born in Halle, a small Saxon town not far from Leipzig. His father, a barber-surgeon, sent him to the university 
to prepare for a law career. Not finding law to his liking, Handel moved to Hamburg, where he played violin in the 
municipal orchestra and began composing. In 1706 he traveled to Italy, chiefly to Florence and Rome, where he composed 
sacred music and well over 100 cantatas. Handel’s supporters included Cardinal Ottoboni, a patron of Corelli who was taken 
by the unusual “fire and force” of the German’s work. According to one observer, Handel even snatched Corelli’s violin out 
of his hand to demonstrate how his music should be played. 

In 1710 Handel became the music director to the court of Hanover. Its German ruler, Georg Ludwig, was later crowned 
King George I of England (r. 1714-1727). The terms of Handel’s appointment allowed him to visit London, where he found 
favor at the court of Queen Anne. Handel took a position there, leaving Germany and his responsibilities in Hanover behind. 
In 1711 his opera Rinaldo, set during the eleventh-century First Crusade, premiered as the first Italian opera composed for 
England. The work was a great success though it also attracted its share of criticism. The critic Joseph Addison ridiculed the 
opera’s special stage effects, including a release of sparrows: “There have been so many Flights of them let loose in this 
Opera, that it is feared the House will never get rid of them; ... besides the Inconvenience which the Head of the Audience 
may sometimes suffer from them.” 





King George I (r. 1714-1727). 


Handel remained in his adopted country for almost half a century, through the reigns of Queen Anne and King George I 
and II. In 1727 the composer became an English citizen. A portly man who wore a large, white wig, he cut an imposing 
figure. He guarded his privacy despite being an international celebrity, and lived quietly as a bachelor at his Georgian 
London residence. (Some 200 years later, the American rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix would live next door.) 

For nearly three decades, Handel composed Italian operas, the preferred entertainment of English royalty and 
aristocracy. In 1720 he was named music director of the Royal Academy of Music, established as a profit-making enterprise 
to support the productions of Italian opera. Handel spent much of his time on administrative matters, attending to his Italian 
singers, and traveling to recruit the fashionable virtuosos demanded by the public. 

Struggling with financial and artistic problems, Handel managed to keep his transplanted Italian opera alive well into the 
1730s. By then, however, English audiences were beginning to tire of it, and in 1737 the academy closed its doors. The 
English had never been altogether comfortable listening to operas sung in a foreign language. In addition, they were uneasy 
with some Italian conventions, such as having sopranos or altos—among them castrati, castrated male singers—sing heroic 
male roles. The operas themselves had grown more and more stereotyped. English audiences disliked the typical “exit aria,” 
in which a soloist would appeal to the audience for applause before abruptly exiting. Ultimately, London critics came to 
view Italian opera as a foreign threat to the established English theater. 





Handel’s London residence at 25 Brook St., now a museum. 


In 1732, Handel produced Esther, a first attempt at an English oratorio. Esther told the Old Testament story of the 
Jewish queen of Persia who saved her people from massacre. The Bishop of London ruled against producing Esther as an 
opera with full costumes, scenery, or staged action, which he felt would profane a sacred subject. Therefore, Handel had it 
performed “after the Manner of the coronation service,” that is, sung by a large chorus in a concert setting. With its English 
text and uplifting biblical story, Estherscored a considerable success. Handel went on to compose nearly twenty oratorios, all 
presented in concert performance. 

As a foreigner (a German in London), Handel was a frequent target of ridicule. His detractors caricatured his speech, his 
large size, and his voracious eating habits (““Nature,” one observer noted, “required a great supply of sustenance to support 
so huge a mass”); in one illustration, he was shown as a “harmonious boar.” Yet Handel prevailed against his critics. A man 
of firm will and shrewd business sense, he died in 1759 a wealthy man. He was buried in Westminster Abbey, the final 
resting place of England’s most distinguished poets and musicians, and three thousand mourners attended his funeral. In the 
nineteenth century, Charles Dickens would be buried alongside him. 

In 1717, the death of the Catholic Queen Anne led to a momentous change in the English monarchy. Queen Anne left no 
surviving heirs, so Parliament decreed that the throne would pass to a Protestant line. Her closest Protestant relative was the 
German prince-elector of the House of Hanover, Georg Ludwig, who became George I. Handel once again served his former 
employer. 

According to an early Handel biographer, the composer created his Water Music in 1717 to gain the favor of the new 
king, who had been angered when the composer left his service in 1710. It is also possible that Handel wrote this orchestral 
music, now his most famous, for a public relations event promoting the king. George I planned a grand pageant to introduce 
himself to the British people, a party on the Thames River that would be easily visible and audible to Londoners within sight 
and earshot of the river. 





Parone ofl Feber! 2 ee 5h SS seeies ootee we Ove be forse 
aud f f 

There devs the veut af on 7 tae « tharseing > qj BRUTE 5 ie der. grate ike need mr 

Arolll thal JEAPWOST coetirew Wie wvle Serndoss vil le Biral 


Handel caricatured as an organ-playing pig in a 1754 engraving. 


As the royal party drifted upriver on a stately barge draped with banners, a group of smaller vessels followed. On one 
barge were Handel and fifty musicians merrily playing oboes, bassoons, trumpets, French horns, and strings. The sound of 
Handel’s floating orchestra must have impressed the throngs of onlookers ashore. Entranced, the king called for the music to 
be encored twice. 

In its final version, Water Music comprises nearly two dozen pieces, most of which fall into common Baroque dance 
categories and are modest in length. There are also a few more extended pieces, including a festive two-part (slow-fast) 
overture based on the French style. Here we will explore a popular piece from the collection (see Listening Map 19). 


— Ss. 








Detail of an eighteenth-century painting by Canaletto showing a floating royal party on the Thames River in London. Handel composed 
the Water Music for a similar occasion. 


>) LISTENING MAP yl g 


G.F. HANDEL, Water Music: Alla Hornpipe 
{1717} 


AUDIO: Water Music: Alla Hornpipe 


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Three-part ABA 
Orchestra divided into brass, woodwinds, and strings 


Alla Hornpipe is a fast, colorful English dance in triple time. Here Handel assembled the full force 
of his orchestra, divided into three groups of brass (two trumpets, two French horns), woodwinds 
(two oboes, two bassoons), and strings. Initially, the oboes and violins seize the tune, which 


features vigorous accents against the beat ( @). Then the orchestra drops out, and the trumpets 
and French horns playfully exchange the tune (_ _@)). The dance continues with orchestral sections 
and alternations between the trumpets and horns ( (3)) before the full ensemble comes together to 
play a strong cadence in a major key (| @)). Next, a contrast: the brass fall silent, and our attention 
focuses on the woodwinds and strings. They introduce a fresh theme, in a minor key ( @). 
Finally, the abbreviation da capo instructs the musicians to repeat the first section in the major key ( 


@). 


() why to LISTEN 


Handel’s Water Music was written for a specific occasion, a leisurely royal outing in 1717 on the Thames River of King 
George I and his court. When we hear the Water Music today, in a recording or a concert hall, we are well removed from its 
original venue, not just in time but also acoustically. This was music designed for outdoor performance, so that its echoing 
sounds could freely resonate and mingle across the river. Meanwhile, the king slowly drifted upstream and surveyed his 
capital, and his subjects lined the shores to take in the pageantry. 

Music outdoors works quite differently than indoors. Think of occasions when you have enjoyed hearing live music 
outdoors. How is the experience different from listening in a closed space, and how do your listening habits change as a 
result? 


( ) first LISTEN 


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(-) 4 deeper LISTEN 






TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 


0:00 








@ Lively theme in triple time, woodwinds and strings 
tr “ 





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0:15 @) Theme exchanged between solo trumpets and French horns 


(3) Further orchestral interjections, solos for trumpets and French horns 






@ Cadence for full orchestra 





SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 









©) New theme in minor key, trumpets and French horns drop out 


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@ Return to first theme, full ensemble 


26.2 Handel and Italian Opera 


By the time of the royal outing on the Thames, Handel was established in London as a composer of Italian opera. The main 
attractions of this genre were the ornate, stylized arias in which star singers reflected on the events of the unfolding drama. 
In Giulio Cesare (1724), Handel’s most famous opera, the principal characters, Julius Caesar and Cleopatra, each sing eight 
arias, through which Handel fully developed their roles. 

The preferred type of aria was the da capo aria, which consisted of two contrasting sections, A and B, followed by a 
repeat of the A section, resulting in the structure ABA. Though the da capo repetitions slowed the unfolding story, they 
allowed singers to showcase their voices through runs, trills, and other ornaments. 

Stitched between the arias were recitatives—speech-like passages with simple continuo accompaniments—that laid out 
the dramatic action of the opera. To heighten the effect, Handel sometimes provided orchestral accompaniment for a 
recitative. Apart from arias and recitatives, Handel used ensembles, from duets to large-scale choruses; he was, in fact, one 
of the first to integrate choruses into Italian operas. To introduce his operas, he used orchestral overtures featuring majestic 
rhythms, thick chords, and animated fugal passages. 


check your KNOWLEDGE 26 


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26.1 
26.2 
26.3 


Q 
Chapter 26 Quiz 


CHAPTER 


27 
Handel and the English Oratorio 


Handel’s music solved one problem for London audiences, who had grown weary of performances in Italian. The English 
were naturally proud of their own culture and language, and Handel shrewdly sensed an opportunity when Italian opera 
began to fall out of favor. His answer was to develop the English oratorio, which had English instead of Italian text. 

Oratorios are large-scale, usually narrative musical works performed without costumes or scenery. Most of Handel’s 
deal with biblical subjects, ranging from new treatments of Old Testament stories to the direct quotations of Scripture 
in Messiah and Israel in Egypt. Several of these works especially resonated among largely Protestant audiences. In one 
oratorio, Judas Maccabaeus, Handel found an Old Testament subject especially relevant to contemporary events. It 
concerned the warrior Judas Maccabaeus, who led a revolt against the Seleucid Empire and restored the Temple of 
Jerusalem in 164 BCE (commemorated in Judaism as Hanukah, the Festival of Lights). The oratorio’s march-like chorus, 
“See the Conquering Hero Comes,” was understood to celebrate the 1745 defeat of an uprising. In that episode, a grandson 
of James II, the last in the line of Stuart kings (see p. 179), unsuccessfully tried to restore the House of Stuart to the English 
throne. 

In his oratorios, Handel abandoned the operatic conventions of theatrical staging, dramatic acting, and “exit arias.” He 
greatly expanded the use of the chorus, however. The oratorios are filled with imposing choral movements, particularly 
in Israel in Egypt and Messiah. Sometimes, the chorus serves as a deliberative body that comments on the paused action, but 
it can also actively participate in the unfolding drama. Thus, in /srael in Egypt, grand choruses relate the tribulations of the 
Hebrew nation in exile. 

Far and away Handel’s most popular oratorio is Messiah, composed in little more than three weeks in 1741. It was first 
performed in Dublin in 1742 as a benefit for Irish charities. To mount the performance, Handel had to overcome resistance 
from the author Jonathan Swift, who was dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Today, it is recognized as one of the great choral 
works of all time, and is performed annually at Christmas and Easter. 

As an oratorio, Handel’s Messiah introduces us to a different kind of listening experience. While oratorios can be quite 
dramatic and might seem to tell stories (like an opera but without scenery and costumes), they more closely resemble epic 
poems. Dating back to classical antiquity, epic poems, such as those of Homer and Virgil, presented larger-than-life events. 
They did so with a moralizing purpose, calculated more to uplift readers than merely to entertain them. 


VEN C4INCER GODIN X04 U (ONT w F200 (6(o) PARA OLoM DUI ComOy Gu Ul oalolesaFctelemmrchelGM pLeyaveblom asuseleom @iet-lable 


Beginning with the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the English monarchy had faced the threat of uprisings from the 
Jacobites, supporters of James II, who sought to restore the Stuart line of monarchs. In 1745 that threat finally 
materialized when a grandson of James II, Charles Edward Stuart (a.k.a. “the Young Pretender” or “Bonnie Prince 
Charlie’’), landed in Scotland with French support to organize a rebellion. After entering Edinburgh unopposed, the 
Prince marched south with an army and began an ill-fated invasion of England. Though he intended to move on 
London, he advanced only part way before deciding to turn back to Scotland. Meanwhile, the English monarch, George 
II, sent his son, the Duke of Cumberland, to pursue the invaders. Cumberland decisively defeated them at the Battle of 
Culloden in Scotland in 1746. Bonnie Prince Charlie escaped, traveling disguised across the Scottish moors before 
taking a frigate back to France. The Duke of Cumberland showed no mercy to Jacobite sympathizers and became 
known as the Butcher of Cumberland. But in London he was regaled as a hero who had saved the country, and was 
honored in the chorus from Handel’s oratorio Judas Maccabaeus. 








Bonnie Prince Charlie. 


Messiah consists of three parts, which comment on the incarnation (birth), passion (Crucifixion), resurrection of Christ, 
and the promise of redemption. The oratorio begins with a French overture. True to Handel’s preference for choruses, nearly 
half of the fifty-three parts are sung by the full chorus, with the rest being solo arias. Among the best-known arias is “I 
Know That My Redeemer Liveth”; the notes of its opening measures were sculpted into Handel’s monument in Westminster 
Abbey, for all visitors to see. Although soloists sing these arias, Messiah has no parts for individual characters and does not 


tell a story in a conventional sense. Rather, its overall theme remains the redemption of mankind through the life and work 
of Christ. 


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died April XT M 





Handel’s tomb in Westminster Abbey, London. 


Next we look closely at two favorites from Messiah, the aria “Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion” and the “Hallelujah” 
chorus (Listening Maps 20 and 21). 


MAKING CONNECTIONS Handel’s Messiah and Jonathan Swift 





One of the most celebrated English writers and satirists of all time, Jonathan Swift wrote the novel Gulliver's 
Travels (1726) while he was the dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, center of the Anglican Church in Ireland. By 
the time Handel arrived in 1742 to supervise the premiere of Messiah, the aging writer was in failing health. 

Swift was, musically speaking, tone-deaf; he once wrote that he “would not give a farthing for all the music in the 
universe.” Still, as dean he tried to keep a tight control over his choristers. When Handel recruited St. Patrick’s choir 


members to sing in Messiah, Swift tried to have them punished. But the oratorio ultimately premiered at the New 
Music Hall on Fishamble Street and was an unqualified success. Several Dublin charities benefited from the proceeds, 
and the course of music history was changed. 





St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin. 


>) LISTENING MAP Z 0) 


G.F. HANDEL, Messiah, Aria, “Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion” 
{1742} 


AUDIO: Messiah, Aria, “Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion” 


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Da capo aria (ABA’) 
English oratorio 
Soprano and orchestra 


Placed toward the end of Part I, after the celebration of Christ’s birth, this soprano aria displays 
Handel’s Baroque craft at its most magnificent. Its text is drawn from the Old Testament Book of 
Zechariah. It is a vivacious da capo aria with a twist: instead of simply repeating the opening 
portion, Handel rewrote it, so that he could modify some of its features. We thus encounter a varied 
repetition: ABA becomes ABA’. 





<&)» why to LISTEN 


Tracing a story in a linear fashion is not the primary goal of an oratorio. Oratorios concern great events in history, but they 
draw from them some universal message. In the case of Messiah, not intended to be performed in church, Handel did not 
have the option of setting the words of Christ. And so, while the first two parts of the oratorio generally concern Christ’s 
birth, crucifixion, and resurrection, they do not tell the story as a narrative. Instead, they are a commentary on the Christian 
experience. This distinction is critical to understanding the oratorio and to adjusting our listening habits. As Handel himself 
is reported to have said, the purpose of his oratorio was not to entertain but to make his audience “better” in some way. The 
question to ask, as you listen, is how well Handel’s music succeeds toward this end. 


( ) first LISTEN 


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(-) 4 deeper LISTEN 


TIME 


0:00 


0:18 


1:15 
1:32 


2:41 
2:45 


3:55 





SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 


Orchestral introduction: Energetic theme in major key with increasingly larger leaps 
expressing the joy of the coming of Christ 
increasing leaps 


Allegro Vv J ‘Ss \ 
eur, at | 





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Soprano solo: Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion, shout O daughter of Jerusalem, Behold, thy 
king cometh unto thee. 


Melisma on “Rejoice”; final repeat spreads the word over 49 notes 
extended melisma 





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Cadence by the soprano leads to the orchestral postlude, a repeat of the joyous opening melody 
Music shifts to minor key, piano dynamic level, slower rhythms and sustained tones 





He is. the__ righ - - - teous Sa -  viour 


Soprano solo: He is the righteous Saviour, And he shall speak peace unto the heathen. 





Abbreviated orchestral introduction, return of opening theme in major key 


Soprano solo: (modified, more brilliant) 
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion, shout O daughter of Jerusalem, Behold, thy king cometh 
unto thee. 


Orchestral postlude 


>) LISTENING MAP Z I 


G.F. HANDEL Messiah, “Hallelujah” chorus 


{1742} 


AUDIO: Messiah, “Hallelujah” chorus 


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Chorus constructed on five musical ideas (a, b, c, d, and e) 


English oratorio 


Chorus and orchestra 


The stirring “Hallelujah” chorus, which closes Part II, is easily the most celebrated movement 





of Messiah. Drawn from Revelation in the King James Bible, the text announces the reign of the 


Lord and the resurrected Christ. It divides into five portions, each with a distinct musical motive. 





( )Jirst LISTEN 


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«-) adeeper LISTEN 


TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 














0:00 Brief orchestral introduction 
0:06 Compact statements of “Hallelujah” sung by the chorus, immediately repeated and compressed 
into statements on a single pitch 
Allegro Compression 
a 
Hal-le-lu- jah! Hal-le-lu-jah! Hal-le -lu- jah! Hal-le-lu- jah! Hal = le = lu-jah! 
[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 
0:24 A stark figure sung in unison by the chorus; this new figure rises to the words “Lord God” 
before moving by wide leaps to suggest His great power 
b eaps 
elc. 
For the Lord God Ome-ni-po-tent reign-eth, Hal-le = lu- jah! Hal-le-lu- jah! 
[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 
0:47 Alternations between and combinations of a and b 
1:11 Dramatic shifts in texture between low and high registers reflect the contrast between the 
“kingdom of this world” and the “Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ” 
= 
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1:29 New subject in fugal style alternating between ascending and descending leaps 
And He shall reign for ev - er and ev = ef 
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1:52 e Sopranos intone ascending pedal points: (King of Kings, Lord of Lords), alternating with the 
choir singing “Hallelujah” ... 
2:31 Culminating combinations of (a), (d), and (e) 
3:21 Conclusion Dramatic pause 
3:23 Final “Amen” cadence 


MAKING CONNECTIONS Standing Up for Handel 





According to tradition, when Messiah was premiered in England in 1743, King George II attended the event. At the text 
“For the Lord God” in the “Hallelujah” chorus, the king rose to his feet. Monarchs did not stand while others sat, and 
so the audience naturally rose en masse and started a time-honored tradition. There is actually no hard evidence that the 
king attended the premiere, but audiences have been standing during this rousing chorus, with and without monarchs, 
for more than 250 years. 


check your KNOWLEDGE 27 
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27.1 
27.2 
27.3 
27.4 


LP 


Chapter 27 Quiz 


CHAPTER 





The End of the Baroque 


By the time Handel composed Messiah, the Baroque was transitioning to a more relaxed style designed to please. 
Increasingly, a distinction was made between a strict “high” style and a lighter, “free” style. The strict style was most 
appropriate for church music; the free style, suitable for less serious music, allowed composers room to experiment. As the 
eighteenth century advanced, the free style became popular in opera and instrumental music, and finally influenced church 
music as well. 

Two terms, rococo and galant, are often applied to this light, transitional style that arose toward the middle of the 
eighteenth century. Rococo (from rocaille, French for small stones or shells) is best applied to the arts in France. The term 
originally described a decorative style that emerged in French architecture as early as the seventeenth century before taking 
hold in the eighteenth century. It featured shell-like motifs as graceful ornaments, in contrast to the heavier style of the full- 
blown Baroque. In music, rococo appeared in light forms of opera that featured dances and scenes from everyday life. 





Tk. 


Rococo-style oval room in Hétel Soubisse, Paris (1739). 


Galant is also used to describe the light style of the time, in France and elsewhere. Composers of galant music rejected 
the complexities of the Baroque in favor of a supple melodic style with a simple, supporting bass line. Their music 
emphasized memorable melodies, with short repeated phrases, and tended to have uncomplicated harmonies. Composers 
favored simple forms such as binary-form dance movements, with two sections, each repeated. 

By the 1730s the galant style was making inroads into the late Baroque style. In Italy, a new type of comic opera, opera 
buffa, began to challenge the well-entrenched serious opera, opera seria. Typically, opera buffa featured just a few 
characters who sang tuneful arias and recitatives punctuated by short, crisp phrases. 

Bach and Handel were aware of these changes. Bach parodied the new style of comic opera in some entertaining 
cantatas, including his Coffee Cantata (ca. 1735), probably intended to be performed in a Leipzig coffee house. In the 
cantata, a distraught father tries to forbid his daughter from drinking coffee, but he fails to break her from her addiction. In 
England, John Gay’s The Beggar's Opera (1728), with music by J. C. Pepusch, satirized the social order. It included roles 
for pickpockets and harlots and spoofed the conventions of Italian opera, the basis of Handel’s livelihood. The popularity 
of The Beggar s Operacontributed to Handel’s decision to turn from Italian opera to English oratorio. 


The Beggar's Opera 


Throughout this period, composers aspired more and more to create music of simplicity, charm, and clarity. The 
magnificent splendor of the Baroque gradually came to be viewed as overly ornate and emotional. Along with the other arts, 
music began to resist the extravagance of the Baroque. Increasingly, it showed signs of a powerful new intellectual direction 
in Western thought that would become known as the Enlightenment. 


check your KNOWLEDGE 28 
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28.1 
28.2 
LP 


Chapter 28 Quiz 


PART IV SUMMARY: THE BAROQUE 


¢ In music history, the Baroque was a period that began in Italy around 1600, spread throughout Europe, and 
continued until about 1750. 


* During this period tonality, based on our modern major and minor scales and system of triads, developed. It 
replaced modality, based on the old church modes, of the medieval age and Renaissance. 


* Baroque music typically uses regular meters and bar lines. 
* Baroque composers began specifying in their scores dynamic markings, such as piano and forte(soft and loud). 


¢ The Baroque marked the rise of opera, a drama with continuous music performed on a stage with sets and 
costumes, and using solo singers, orchestra, and occasionally a chorus. 


° Opera began in Italy and then spread to other regions; seventeenth-century opera composers included the Italian 
Claudio Monteverdi and Englishman Henry Purcell. 


¢ The Baroque also introduced the cantata, a vocal composition in several movements, for soloist and small 
instrumental ensemble, initially set to secular texts. 


¢ The Baroque witnessed the rise of highly skilled virtuoso musicians and introduced several new genres of 
instrumental music. 


¢ The sonata was for one solo instrument or for a small group of instruments. 
° The prelude was a relatively short piece, often of an improvisatory character. 
° The suite was a collection of dance movements of different characters. 


e The trio sonata was a chamber work in several movements that featured two treble instruments supported by a 
bass and a continuo instrument. 


* The concerto grosso was an instrumental work, typically in three movements, that featured a group of soloists 
supported by an orchestra. 


* Leading Baroque composers of instrumental music were the violinists Arcangelo Corelli and Antonio Vivaldi. 


¢ The music of the Baroque reached its height in the prolific career of the German J. S. Bach, who produced over a 
thousand compositions. 


* One of the leading organ and harpsichord virtuosos of his time, Bach wrote hundreds of instrumental works. 


* Bach is often recognized as the greatest practitioner of the fugue, a work in imitative polyphonic style in which 
several parts introduce and develop a fugal subject. 


* Bach composed a vast quantity of sacred music, including hundreds of church cantatas, works for chorus, 
orchestra, and solo vocalists. 


* Bach designed his cantatas for use in weekly Leipzig church services, and typically built them around chorales, 
Lutheran hymn tunes then in common use. 


° After he died, Bach’s music was largely forgotten until the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. 
¢ The German composer G. F. Handel, a second master of the late Baroque, worked primarily in England. 


¢ Handel composed Italian operas, but eventually developed a new genre, the English oratorio, the mainstay of 
his fame. 


¢ Based on biblical subjects, Handel’s oratorios used an orchestra, chorus, and vocal soloists, but unlike opera, 
did not require sets, costumes, and stage scenery. 


* Handel also composed ceremonial music for royal occasions, including the coronations of English monarchs, 
and the Water Music, for a royal outing up the Thames River. 


° By the time Handel died, Baroque music had begun to be challenged by a lighter, more accessible style that in 
turn would give rise to the Classical period. 


KEY TERMS 


a cappella 
allemande 


answer 
anthem 
arla 


1entation 





seulenee 
cadenza 
cantata 
cello 
chorale 





church cantata 
concertino 
concerto 
concerto grosso 
continuo 
courante 

ce eae 





cteanandian 
dominant 
double bass 





sigue 





masque 

mediant 

mirror inversion 
modulation 
monody 
occasional music 
opera 
opera buffa 








arenes 
organ 
ornament 
overture 
pedal point 
piano (Pp) 
pizzicato 
polychoral 
P . 
program music 








repeat marks 
rit rnello 





rococo 
sarabande 

sonata 

sonata da camera 
sonata da chiesa 
stretto 
subdominant 
subject 

suite 

terraced dynamics 
toccata 

tonality 

tonic 
transposition 
triad 

trill 

trio sonata 

viola 

violin 

virtuoso 

walking bass 


KEY COMPOSERS 


Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) 
Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677) 
Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687) 
Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713) 
Henry Purcell (1659-1695) 

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) 
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) 
George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) 


Part: 4 Flashcards: The Baroque 


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Japan: The Koto 





Japanese court music is a rich tradition dating back centuries. In the 700s, the ensemble style known as gagaku gained 
popularity in imperial settings, influenced by music from China and Korea. A common instrument in gagaku is the koto, a 
long, hollow wooden soundbox with strings. 


Video: Koto demonstration 


In this 2018 video filmed in Berkeley, California, koto master Shoko Hikage tells the story of the koto and describes how 
she came to play it. She shows the different parts of the instrument, demonstrates its tuning, and plays “Sakura, Sakura” 
“(Cherry Blossoms’), a traditional Japanese song of the Edo period (1603-1868). Listen to how she adds interest to her 
performance, varying from playing the melody on single strings (8:07) to introducing parallel octaves (8:22) and moving 
between octaves (8:29). 


Video 28.1: Japan: Koto Music 

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Parts of the koto 


A member of the zither family, the koto has thirteen strings with movable bridges. The slightly arched body of the 
instrument, which is played horizontally, is nearly six feet long and made from paulownia wood. Holes in the back help 
create a soft sound for chamber music. The player uses three right-hand finger picks (called tsume, “claws’”). 


History 


The koto arrived in Japan via the Chinese imperial court in the seventh or eighth century. A solo tradition gradually evolved 
beyond the court among educated people, who began playing the koto for individual entertainment and contemplation. A 


court musician named Yatsuhashi Kengyo is credited with bringing the instrument to the common people in the seventeenth 
century. In the mid-nineteenth century, sweeping changes under Emperor Meiji led to an increasing emphasis on European 
music. Koto playing declined during that period but has since experienced a revival. The koto is now considered the national 
instrument of Japan. 


Tuning 


Hirajoshi is a tuning scale featuring five basic pitches (in Western music, by contrast, scales generally consist of seven basic 
pitches). Small, movable bridges are placed under each string to adjust the pitch before playing. The total range of the tuned 
pitches is two octaves and a whole step. 





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“Sakura, Sakura” (“Cherry Blossoms”) is a Japanese folk song based on hirajoshi tuning. Cherry blossoms are 
venerated in Japan as a harbinger of spring. Across time, cultures, and styles, composers have used music to evoke the 
seasons. Compare these classical and popular examples of the sound of spring: 


¢ Vivaldi’s Spring from the Four Seasons (1723) is a well-known work depicting nature’s reawakening. 


<)) 
Vivaldi, Spring from The Four Seasons 


¢ In Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring (1913), the composer draws on the modal scales and jagged rhythms of traditional 
Russian music to give a turbulent picture of nature’s rebirth. 


))) 
Stravinsky, The Rite of Spring 


* In apop example, Noah and the Whale’s powerful The First Days of Spring (2009) opens with an ominous drum 
beat that is slowly joined by electric guitar and strings. A heavily echoed vocal does not begin until about 1:30 into 
the song. The slow pace of the melody against the dramatic backdrop, with its regular guitar figure and eerie strings, 
perfectly captures the slow emergence of spring season from winter’s cold. 


<)))) 
“The First Days of Spring” by Noah and the Whale (2009) 


How are these musical representations similar? How are they different? Which factors might account for some of their 
similarities and differences? 


PART 


The Classical Period 


Melody is the essence of music. —ATTRIBUTED TO MOZART 





Portrait of young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart performing with his father, Johann Georg Leopold, and his sister, Maria Anna (Nannerl), ca. 
1763. 


Genres and Forms in Classical Music 


CHAPTER 31 
Joseph Haydn 


CHAPTER 32 
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 


CHAPTER 33 
Ludwig van Beethoven 


GLOBAL CONNECTIONS Thailand: Music of the Khaen 


The Classical period extended roughly from 1750 through 1800. Its composers reacted against the intricate melodies and busy 
rhythms of the Baroque, instead favoring an accessible style marked by clear forms and balance. Centered on three major 
composers—Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven—the Classical period eventually lent its name to the broader idea of art music. 
Thus, “classical” can refer to the music of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and their contemporaries, but it can also refer to the 
entire tradition, from the medieval era to today. In contrast, the Classical period refers to a specific span of music history. 
Although the period lasted only about half a century, its influence on Western music endured well beyond. 





Enlightenment thinkers such as Mary Wollstonecraft valued reason and explored questions of how to lead a virtuous life. Wollstonecraft 
asserted in A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792) that women were equal to men. 


Why Listen to Music from the Classical Period? 


Mozart was one of the most remarkable child prodigies of all time, and his music remains a popular symbol of the Classical 
period. His work is often depicted as nearly perfect, capable of overwhelming listeners with its sheer beauty. Along with his 
contemporary Haydn, Mozart valued classical features of balance, proportion, and symmetry. This music can offer a deeply 
moving experience, but it usually conveys emotions within an ordered structure. Although we are far removed from the 
eighteenth century, we can relate because we often crave order and balance. The compositions of Haydn and Mozart in 
particular bring us closer to that calming state. Classical music might not improve your IQ or spatial reasoning, despite some 
claims, but it clearly projects certain truths. It has the power to express emotions within a harmoniously proportioned and 
structured whole. 


The Enlightenment 


The Classical period overlapped with a powerful philosophical and political movement known as the Enlightenment (Age of 
Reason), which had begun with the scientific advances of Galileo, Newton, and others in the seventeenth century. During the 
eighteenth century, enlightened thinkers applied the same spirit of scientific inquiry to broader questions—how best to govern 
or lead a virtuous life, for example. They rejected what they saw as the superstitious beliefs of the past and instead valued 
reason, tolerance, and scientific inquiry. In A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792), the English feminist Mary 
Wollstonecraft argued that women were equal to men and that reason was the only authority for the virtuous. For the German 
philosopher Immanuel Kant, whose motto was “dare to know,” the enlightened person possessed an unquenched curiosity 
about the world. 

That curiosity found outlets in new attempts to organize knowledge: the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus designed a 
system for classifying plants; the Englishman Samuel Johnson produced a two-thousand-page dictionary of the English 


language. Meanwhile, the Frenchman Denis Diderot labored for years over a massive encyclopedia. In response to Diderot’s 
publication, a Scottish publisher brought out the Encyclopaedia Britannica, still available after many editions. 

The new movement challenged absolute monarchs, who ruled by divine right and the authority of traditional institutions, 
including the Christian church. Could the Enlightenment’s spirit of inquiry improve quality of life? Some European rulers 
thought so. On the other side of the Atlantic, Americans set down citizens’ rights in the Declaration of Independence (1776). 
The American Revolution and founding of the United States not only demonstrated but tested the ideals of the Enlightenment, 
including its celebration of reason. Some optimistic observers suggested that by following this course, mankind would 
eventually achieve perfection. 






~ 


7 ey. ACE OG ANd Sea 
eS ELLE 


a a 








The 1776 Declaration of Independence proclaimed the United States an independent nation and set down the rights of American citizens. 


The Revival of Antiquity 


In searching for that perfection, some artists turned to classical antiquity, which symbolized an earlier golden age. This trend 
is evident in The Death of Socrates (1787) by the French painter Jacques-Louis David, which also reflected the political 
backdrop of revolution. The influential German art historian Johann Winckelmann wrote that contemporary artists should 
imitate the “noble simplicity and silent grandeur” found in Greek statues. In the 1730s and 40s, the rediscovery of the ancient 
cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii kindled new interest in Roman art. Classical revivals in architecture spread throughout 
Europe and then to America. The French architects of the Panthéon in Paris (1790) emulated the facade of the Roman 
Pantheon constructed in the second century CE. In turn, Thomas Jefferson captured some of its classical balance in several 
architectural designs, including one for his residence at Monticello. 


SS 
evr 


Both (a) the Panthéon in Paris (1790) and (b) Thomas Jefferson’s residence at Monticello (1772) echoed the classical balance of the Roman 
Pantheon (2nd century CE). 





Music historians are divided on how they view the influence of this revival of classical antiquity on eighteenth-century 
music. Some argue that classicism had little effect on eighteenth-century music, given that composers of the time—unlike 
poets and architects—could not draw on ancient Greek and Roman models. Others, though, argue that the music of Haydn, 
Mozart, and the young Beethoven does show characteristics of classical art: poise, formal balance, and delight in beauty. This 
new emphasis was a reaction against the elaborate style of the Baroque and reflected the ideas of the Enlightenment. 

There is another reason why the term “classical” appropriately describes the music of the latter eighteenth century. In the 
nineteenth century, composers began to view Haydn’s and Mozart’s music (and eventually Beethoven’s) as timeless works of 
art that could serve as models, just as ancient artworks had for the eighteenth century. Eventually the new Classical music 
became the masterpieces that later composers used to measure their own progress and search for independence. 





The Death of Socrates by Jacques-Louis David (1787) represented a return to classical artistic styles while reflecting political themes. 


ab Interactive Timeline: The Classical Period 








Eine kleine 
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Nachtmusik The Magic Flute and Requiem 
1756-1791 17871791 
Piano Sonata, Piano Sonata, 
NBC ee : Op. 13 Op. 27 No. 2 
Ludwig van Beethoven The Marriage of Figaro. and (“Pathétique”) (’Moonlight’) Symphony No. 5 
1770-1827 Piano Concerto No. 23 1798 1801 1808 












Joseph Haydn 
1732-1809 


“Surprise” Symphony String Quartets, Op. 76 
1791 1797 





MusicellWarkstendl Composers 


Chevalier de SaintGeorges 





1745-1799 
1750 1775 1800 1825 
5 @ Rousseau, © Goethe, @ U.S. Constitution ratified; Napoleonic Wars 
The Social Contract The Sorrows of Young Werther David, The Death of Socrates 1803-1815 
1762 1774 


- = 1787 as 


@ American Declaration 
of Independence 
1776 





@ Beginning of French Revolution; 
inauguration of George Washington 





1789 





History and Culture 


roll 
© Wollstonecraft, % 
Reign of Louis XVI in France A Vindication of the A Congress of Vienna 
1774-1792 Rights of Women au 1814-1815 
1792 — = 









CHAPTER 


29 


Music 1n the Classical Period 


The eighteenth-century Classical style was truly international and widely popular throughout Europe. 
Composers of this period approached melody, dynamics, rhythm, harmony, and texture in distinctive ways to 
separate their music from that of the Baroque period. 

Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756—1791) were the most influential 
composers of the new classicism, but other eighteenth-century composers contributed to its style. Two sons 
of J. S. Bach—Carl Philip Emanuel (1714-1788) and Johann Christian (1735—1783)—were important 
forerunners of the new classicism, as was Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787), who composed several 
successful Italian and French operas. 


29.1 Composers of the New Classicism 


Among the most extraordinary musicians and composers of the eighteenth century was Joseph Bologne, the Chevalier de 
Saint-Georges (1745-1799), who rose to eminence in Parisian society and commanded a military battalion. The son of an 
aristocratic French planter and an African slave, Saint-Georges was born on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. As a boy 
he moved to Paris, where he became an accomplished fencer and a virtuosic violinist. He achieved spectacular fame, 
composing several demanding concerti and pioneering a new French genre, the sinfonia concertante a hybrid of the concerto 
and symphony. There is evidence that Saint-Georges’s music and playing influenced Mozart, who visited the French capital 
in 1778. Saint-Georges directed one of the elite Parisian orchestras of the time, composed several operas, and commissioned 
Joseph Haydn to compose six symphonies that were premiered in the French capital. Much of Saint-Georges’s music is 
likely lost, but he is now taking his rightful place in the history of European music. 





Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799). 


By mid-century, many composers were producing music for a new musical public. Though most composers still 
depended on royal patronage, public concerts were beginning to thrive in European cities. Music publishers were responding 
to the new market of musical amateurs within a rising middle class. 

During the last decades of the eighteenth century, Haydn and Mozart brilliantly defined the Classical style; in the early 
nineteenth century, Beethoven powerfully tested its limits. Because these three were critical to the musical life of Vienna, we 
often refer to this period as the age of Viennese Classicism. But before discussing their remarkable lives and careers, it is 
important to explore the Classical style they perfected. 





Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809). 





Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791). 


29.2 Melody in Classical Music 


Baroque composers crafted elaborate melodies that ran on with little or no pause. In contrast, Classical composers favored 
melodies in short, balanced phrases. The opening of a celebrated theme from Haydn’s “Surprise” Symphony illustrates this 
new approach. 

At first, Haydn’s theme sounds straightforward. It falls into balanced pairs of measures. The melody ascends in the first 
two measures and descends in the next two. This pattern is repeated over the next four measures. 

Another pattern can be seen in the way Haydn alternates the markings that tell the performers how to play the notes. He 
uses both staccato (detached) markings, shown by the dots below the notes, and tenuto(held) markings, shown by “ten.” 
above. The listener hears a series of clipped staccato notes interrupted every other bar by a longer, held note. This first part 
of the theme is performed at a soft (piano) level. 

Next, Haydn begins repeating the melody with the dynamics dropped to a hushed pianissimo. Nothing disrupts the 
theme until an unexpected fortissimo chord at the end—Haydn’s surprise, intended to rouse inattentive audiences. 


“Repeat” of melody Surprise 





AUDIO: The opening of the second movement of Haydn’s “Surprise” Symphony 
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Haydn’s theme is an extreme example of the Classical style. It overstates the melodic symmetry in order to make a 


musical joke. The final orchestral crash jolts the balance of the theme, which has proceeded in regular, predictable units of 
two bars each. 


MAKING CONNECTIONS Balance in Neoclassical Art and Architecture 





The balance and symmetry of Classical music resonated with the ideals of the Enlightenment thinkers and their search 
for models of social and political harmony. That search led to another revival of classical antiquity, sometimes referred 
to as neoclassicism. If the Renaissance had marked the first return to ancient Rome and Greece in art and architecture, 
the Classical period marked the second. The harmonious geometry in the architecture of antiquity was now seen as 
reflecting Enlightenment ideals of civic virtue and new political orders. 

In Paris, Napoleon ordered the construction of La Madeleine, modeled on Roman temples, as a “temple of glory” 
for his victorious armies. In Prague, music and architecture came together in two opera houses with neoclassical 
designs. At the Estates Theater in Prague, Mozart premiered his opera Don Giovanni in 1787. 





La Madeleine, Paris. 





Estates Theater, Prague. 


Many Classical themes consist of small parts that add up to larger symmetrical groupings. Composers seemed to be 
counting out the measures and distributing them into phrases that formed neatly balanced musical sentences. That is not all 
that they were doing, however. After all, Haydn inserted the explosive chord in his “Surprise” Symphony to disrupt the 
pattern. Still, many Classical themes do fall into regular, balanced portions, like a question and answer. 


29.3 Dynamics in Classical Music 


Classical composers changed dynamics more frequently than their Baroque predecessors, and they worked with a broader 
range of levels. About the middle of the eighteenth century, two new types of dynamics came into play: the crescendo, a 
gradual increase in dynamics, and the decrescendo (or diminuendo), a gradual decrease in dynamics. Classical composers 
often opened their orchestral music with attention-grabbing crescendos. 

Also encouraging the use of gradually changing dynamics was the popularity of a new keyboard instrument, 
the fortepiano (literally, “loud-soft”). The forerunner of the modern piano, the fortepiano could produce fine shades of loud 
and soft. Firm pressure on the keys produced a loud sound; a more delicate touch, a soft sound. Musicians could easily 
create dramatic crescendos and diminuendos on the fortepiano. This option added a considerable variety to their music not 
possible with earlier keyboard instruments such as the harpsichord. 


Video 30.1: Clementi Fortepiano. Italian composer Muzio Clementi (1752-1832) was not only a talented writer of keyboard music but also 
ran one of the first major companies to manufacture pianofortes. Several of these instruments have survived. In this video, Larry Todd 
describes the instrument and plays portions of works by Clementi and Haydn to demonstrate its sound. 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 


THE FORTEPIANO 


The forerunner of the modern piano was the fortepiano, invented by the Italian instrument maker Bartolomeo Cristofori 
around 1720. The breakthrough was a mechanism by which pressing the keys caused hammers to strike and rebound from 
the strings, allowing them to vibrate. Unlike harpsichords, which used a simpler mechanism that plucked the strings to 
generate an even level of sound, fortepianos had a range of dynamics. Cristofori’s invention was slow to be embraced. J. S. 
Bach encountered some early fortepianos but did not write music specifically for the instrument. However, some of his 
children did. By the 1760s and 1770s, fortepianos were beginning to rival the older fixture of Baroque music, the 
harpsichord. 





Fortepiano by Muzio Clementi, ca. 1805. 


For all their novelty, fortepianos were quite different from modern pianos. Fortepianos had smaller ranges (generally 
about five octaves) and were smaller in size. They had less tension on their strings, which made them quieter than modern 
pianos. Today’s concert grand piano has eighty-eight keys (more than seven octaves) and a reinforced interior iron frame, 
which accommodates more tension on the strings and allows for greater volume and a more penetrating sound. 


29.4 Rhythm in Classical Music 


Classical composers also separated their music from the Baroque through variety and contrast in their use of 
rhythm. For comparison, recall the opening of J. S. Bach’s Fifth Brandenburg Concerto. The orchestra begins 
with a theme propelled by a stream of energetic sixteenth notes that is sustained through much of the 
movement. In contrast, Classical composers used greater rhythmic variety. They might start a composition 
with one theme marked by its own rhythmic values, but later explore another theme with a very different 
rhythm pattern. This emphasis on rhythmic diversity keeps the music fresh and helps satisfy our need for 
variety in music. 


29.5 Harmony and Texture in Classical Music 


Haydn and Mozart often set their themes against simple chords, creating textures that were easier to follow than the intricate 
designs of Baroque music. Classical composers might break up a chordal passage with some imitative counterpoint, for 
example. But they mostly reserved counterpoint, such as the fugue, for special purposes. Furthermore, Classical composers 
changed their harmonies less frequently than Baroque composers, often using just a few simple chords to reinforce the 
harmonic clarity of their music. 

Classical composers also preferred major to minor keys. Haydn wrote over a hundred symphonies, yet only ten of them 
are in minor keys. Likewise, of Mozart’s twenty-four piano concertos, only two are in minor keys. Baroque composers had 
associated minor keys with strong emotions. Classical composers favored the brighter major keys, perhaps with an ear to the 
popular demand for music pleasant to play and enjoyable to hear. 


check your KNOWLEDGE 29 
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29.1 
29.2 
29.3 


Q 
Chapter 29 Quiz 


CHAPTER 


(30 ) 


Genres and Forms in Classical Music 


Though Classical composers continued to explore musical genres inherited from the Baroque, such as the 
concerto and opera, they also developed new genres of their own. And they devised new musical forms to 
use in these new genres, forms that became associated with the Classical period but remained relevant for 
composers who followed. 


30.1 New Instrumental Genres 


The Classical period produced three new types of instrumental music: 


1) the symphony, a large-scale work written for orchestra; 
2) the string quartet, a composition for two violins, one viola, and one cello; and 
3) the Classical sonata, a piece typically for one or two instruments, usually including a piano. 





The string quartet emerged as a favored type of chamber music. The artist has depicted Haydn in a light blue top coat, in the first violin 
position (fifth from the left). 


In the Classical period, symphonies were performed in relatively large venues, including aristocratic courts and concert 
halls. In contrast, the string quartet emerged in the Classical period as a favored type of chamber music, intended for 
intimate settings. Derived from Baroque models, Classical sonatas were another type of chamber music that gained 
popularity in the eighteenth century. 

Symphonies, string quartets, and sonatas all feature several separate movements distinguished by their different tempos. 
A common arrangement is to have three movements in the order fast-slow—very fast. By adding a minuet, a stylized dance 
movement in a moderate tempo, composers extended the sequence to four movements, usually in the order of fast-slow— 
minuet—very fast. Each movement of these instrumental works features its own themes and a distinctive form. 


30.2 Sonata Form 


Sonata form was the most common instrumental form in the Classical period. Before continuing, it is important to 
distinguish between the terms sonata and sonata form: 


¢ A sonata is an instrumental composition with several movements, for instance, Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata for 
piano in three movements. 


¢ Sonata form is a specific form used in one or more movements of an instrumental composition, be it a sonata, string 
quartet, or symphony. 


Most frequently, sonata form appears in the first or last movement of a work. 

Other than the fugue, which rose to prominence during the Baroque period, sonata form is the most complex form we 
will encounter in our survey of Western music. But it is arguably the most important and common form used in classical 
music, at least from the eighteenth century on. What makes it so complex? 

Part of the challenge lies in understanding its details, such as: 


¢ keys and how they modulate or change from the tonic to other keys; 
* musical themes and how they can be similar or different; and 
¢ how themes can be developed, altered, and restored. 


Adding to the challenge, there is no such thing as a single “sonata form.” Creative artists will not be bound by any set of 
rules, and composers are no exception. They can take the idea of the sonata form and use it as the basis for their own 
creative explorations. 

In its simplest version, sonata form comprises three basic parts (Figure 30.1): 


1) Exposition: the statement of the main themes 
2) Development: the development of the main themes 
3) Recapitulation: the final return to (or repetition of) the original themes 


Exposition Development Recapitulation 


FIG. 30.1 A simple representation of sonata form. 


We can further break down this organization by examining what occurs in each of these parts. The first part of sonata 
form is called the exposition because it “exposes,” or presents, the basic materials of the movement. Within the exposition, 
there are usually two major themes (or groups of themes). In the second part, the development, the composer develops one 
or more themes introduced in the exposition. Part of our enjoyment comes from marveling at how the composer cleverly 
reworks these themes in new and interesting ways, perhaps changing their rhythm and pitches, and placing them in a free 
range of keys. Finally, the third part, the recapitulation (or reprise), brings a fulfilling sense of closure. The relative 
freedom of the development gives way to restatements of the major themes and a return to a sense of order. The 
recapitulation helps close the entire form. 

One way to understand sonata form is to compare it to another art form, such as a dramatic play or film. In the first few 
scenes, we typically meet the principal characters. In sonata form, these characters could correspond loosely to the principal 
themes of the composition, which are introduced in the exposition. Think of Romeo and Juliet, and imagine a composer 
representing them through different themes. Eventually some sort of dramatic conflict emerges: they love each other but 
cannot marry because of their feuding families. In sonata form, the idea of a dramatic conflict corresponds to the contrasting 
themes and keys presented in the exposition. 


As the play continues, the conflict is developed and intensified, and it reaches a critical stage. Both Romeo and Juliet 
devise plans to overcome the obstacle that keeps them from being together. This process corresponds to the second main part 
of a sonata, the development, in which the composer develops the themes in various ways, and visits a succession of keys. 

Eventually, in the closing scenes of the play, we reach some sense of resolution. This part corresponds to the 
recapitulation of the sonata, which restores the tonic key and corrects the imbalance of the development. In the tragedy 
of Romeo and Juliet, the resolution is not a happy one, yet it still provides a conclusion to the conflict. In a way, it reaffirms 
the play’s opening message: the impossibility that these two “star-crossed lovers” will live a happy life together. 





Juliet and Romeo in the 1968 film. In sonata form, these characters could correspond to the principal themes of the composition. 


A piece of music can, in effect, “tell” a dramatic story, much like the story of our play. By comparing sonata form to the 
structure of a drama, we can begin to understand how it achieves its effects. 


THE SONATA FORM IN ACTION 


As composers worked with sonata form, they continued to adapt it, by adding two optional sections: a stately slow 
introduction, placed before the exposition, that prepared the listener for the rest of the movement; and a coda (from the 
Italian for “tail”), placed after the recapitulation, that brought the movement to a conclusion (Figure 30.2). 


i 


Introduction | Exposition Development — Recapitulation Coda 


FIG. 30.2 The expansion of sonata form to include an introduction and a coda. 


At its simplest, the slow introduction consisted of just a few chords or brief portions of themes performed in a slow 
tempo followed by a pause. The shift to the fast tempo marked the beginning of the exposition. At the other end of the 
movement, the coda allowed the composer to provide a sense of closure to the music. At its simplest, the coda consisted of a 
few definitive chords. More elaborate codas could include dramatic excursions before reaching the final, unmistakable 
return to the tonic. The slow introduction and coda further reinforced the tonal tension and resolution as well as the formal 
symmetry that are hallmarks of Classical music. 

Few composers in the Classical period matched Mozart’s genius in applying sonata form. An especially clear example is 
the first movement of A Little Night Music (Listening Map 22), one of Mozart’s most famous compositions, which has 


endured in popular culture through its use in films and commercials. Composed in 1787 for a small orchestra of strings, it is 
a serenade, music intended for an outdoor evening performance. 


>) LISTENING MAP Z Z 


w.A. MOZART, Eine kleine Nachtmusik (A Little Night Music), K. 525, First 


Movement, Allegro 
{1787} 


AUDIO: Eine kleine Nachtmusik, First Movement 


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Common time( §) 


String orchestra 


The first movement of Mozart’s A Little Night Music (Eine kleine Nachtmusik) perfectly models 
sonata form. It opens with an exposition consisting of a first, second, and closing theme. The 
development section then elaborates on these themes. Finally, a recapitulation reinstates the original 
themes, and the piece closes with a brief coda. 





@) why to LISTEN 


We do not know why Mozart composed Eine kleine Nachtmusik. Presumably he intended the serenade as an evening 
entertainment for Austrian nobility. As one of Mozart’s most popular works, it has found a wide variety of uses in 
commercials and soundtracks to twentieth-century films such as Batman (1989), Theres Something about Mary (1998), 
and Charlies Angels: Full Throttle (2003). Stephen Sondheim alluded to it in the title of his 1973 musical A Little Night 
Music, though this title was also inspired by an Ingmar Bergman film. 


<>» first LISTEN 


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«-) «deeper LISTEN 


TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 


0:00 First Theme (tonic key) 


Broken into three sections 


First Section 
Ff figure, entire orchestra 





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0:10 Second Section 
Violins continue the melody 
Third Section 


Slower, figure in the violins 


0:21 





0:35 


0:53 


1:07 


1:44 


3:26 


4:04 
5:48 





Bridge (changing key) 


Rising line in the violins, crescendo to forte leading to the second key; brief pause 


Second Theme (dominant key) 


Graceful new theme in violins 
re 






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Closing Theme (dominant key) 
Dynamic level increases to forte, then drops to =; new theme in violins 




















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Opening measures of exposition restated in the dominant, then a series of modulations 


featuring the closing theme 
Brief turn to the minor, before the tonic key is announced 


Retraces the main events of the exposition while maintaining the tonic key 


Short, forte passage with energetic figure in violins 


30.3 Theme and Variations Form 


Considerably easier to follow than sonata form is theme and variations form. It is often used in slow movements of 
Classical instrumental pieces. Unlike the first movement of A Little Night Music, which has several different themes, 
movements in theme and variations form generally focus on only one theme, the basis of the movement. It is heard at the 
beginning of the movement and then undergoes changes through a series of variations. 

The slow movement of Haydn’s “Surprise” Symphony provides an example of how a composer can vary a theme using 
this form (Listening Map 23). It begins with a theme in C major (®), followed by four variations and a coda. 


Q LISTENING MAP Z 3 


FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN, Symphony No. 94 in G major (“Surprise’’), Second Movement 


(Andante) 
{1791} 


AUDIO: Symphony No. 94 in G major (“Surprise”) 


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Theme and variations 
Duple meter( #) 
Classical orchestra (winds, brass, timpani, and strings) 


Haydn’s celebrated movement contains a theme, four variations, and a coda. The theme, a 
deceptively simple melody, sets up an unexpected surprise midway. In the variations the composer 
alters different aspects of the theme—its melodic figurations, key, instruments that play the theme 
—to construct a movement that is at once dramatic, suspenseful, and mysterious. 





( ) first LISTEN 


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«-) «deeper LISTEN 




















TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 


0:00 First section, C major: performed = p,then repeated pp withasurprise ff chord at 


the end 
Second section: performed #P and repeated 


0:57 The theme is clearly stated by the second violins. Haydn adds a faster moving part played 


by the first violins above it. 


1:54 C minor, much of it played at a forte or fortissimo level. A moment of high drama with 
sweeping scales and stately rhythms, this variation transports us away from the simple 


theme that began the movement. 


2:55 Variation 3 Following a brief transition in the violins, the piece returns to C major. This variation 
features solos for the oboe and then flute and oboe together, as the violins play the theme 
below the soloists. 


3:52 Variation 4 For the entire orchestra: The violins play running sets of notes while the winds and brass 
maintain the basic shape of the theme. 


TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 


4:58 Coda The orchestra pauses on a suspenseful chord, announcing the coda. The volume drops from 
Jf to pandthentoahushed pp. The opening bars of the theme are played quietly 
by the winds against subdued chords in the strings, like a fleeting memory of the melody. 


30.4 Minuet and Trio 


The minuet and trio was an aristocratic Baroque dance style made fashionable at the seventeenth-century French court of 
Louis XIV, where the so-called Sun King prided himself on his dancing abilities. 

The word minuet may derive from the French menu, meaning “small” or “slender,” a reference to the small, graceful 
steps of the dance. Minuets were in a moderate tempo with triple ( }?) meter. During the eighteenth century, composers 
wrote minuets for dancing, but also used the form for their instrumental compositions, where they usually inserted it as the 
third of four movements. By mid-century, minuets were appearing in symphonies, string quartets, and sonatas—not for 
dancing, but for musical enjoyment. 

There were two major sections in the Classical minuet: the minuet proper (A) and the trio (B) (Figure 30.3). The trio was 
nothing more than a second minuet. Its mood contrasted with that of the minuet proper, and often its key differed as well. 
After the trio, the original minuet was played again. The entire minuet thus assumed a three-part form: minuet-trio- 
minuet or ABA. Each section in turn was divided into three smaller sections, a-b-a’ for the minuet, and c-d-c’, with new 
music, for the trio. Finally, the smaller sections were fitted into a binary arrangement through the use of repeat signs: 

|: a:]}: ba’ dfand]}:c:]f:de’ (or, aa ba’ ba’, andccdc'dc’. Usually, the second performance of A occurred without the 
internal repeats. 





MINUET (A) TRIO (B) MINUET (A) 





FIG. 30.3 Form of the Classical minuet. 


There is no better example of a concise minuet than the third movement of Mozart’s A Little Night Music, which is a 
model of Classical symmetry (Listening Map 24). 


>) LISTENING MAP 2 4 


w.A. MOZART, Eine kleine Nachtmusik (A Little Night Music), K. 525, Third 


Movement (Allegretto) 
{1787} 


AUDIO: Eine kleine Nachtmusik, Third Movement 


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Minuet and trio 
Triple meter( #) 
String orchestra (first violins, second violins, violas, cellos, optional double basses) 


Mozart’s graceful minuet falls into clear phrases. The first part, A ( @)) is differentiated by 
dynamics (forte, piano, and forte) and performance styles (detached staccato and smooth legato). 





The contrasting trio, B, introduces a new key and theme ( @). performed primarily legato, but 
also using contrasts in dynamics (now Pp, ff, and FP). Finally, the piece concludes by 





returning to the original first part, A( ()). 


() why to LISTEN 


Minuets reached the height of their popularity as social dances during the eighteenth century. The courtly dances were 
performed at a moderate tempo and entertaining to watch. The music accompanying the dance typically offers hummable 
melodies and softly swaying rhythms. 

Haydn and Mozart lavished great care upon their minuets. A fixture of aristocratic life, the minuet eventually came out 
of European courts into the broader musical culture. In particular Haydn might begin a minuet with elegant dance music, 
only to introduce in the trio a second dance that sounded like a folk song. His minuets wittily probed the lines separating 
Classical art music from the popular music of his day. 


( ) first LISTEN 


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«-) «deeper LISTEN 



















TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 
0:00 nt The main (a) theme in ons, JF, with staccato pitches 
e 
P 
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0:12 (a) repeated 
(6): #, marked by smooth legato motion: modified return to a (a’), ff 
(b) and (a’) repeated 
0:47 @) The contrasting (c) melody: new theme ina new key, _P, legato 
> PRT POR. 
je Ee = 
—— - 
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(c) repeated 
@: SF 
(c): FP 
(d) and (c ') repeated 
1:49 (3) Return of the main (a) melody 





30.5 Rondo Form 


The rondo (literally “round”) is a form based around a main theme that is periodically repeated throughout the movement. A 
rondo most frequently appears as the last movement of an instrumental work. This main theme is known as the refrain and 
is set in the tonic key. Other contrasting sections, known as episodes, introduce new keys and themes. 

Composers devised different plans for their rondos. Sometimes they simply alternated the refrain (A) with a single 
episode (B) according to the simple plan ABABA (Figure 30.4). Sometimes they devised more complex plans, such as this 
one, alternating between four refrains and three episodes (B and C) to yield a seven-part plan (Figure 30.5). 


A” B 
[ \ 
A A 
N 3 2 


FIG. 30.4 Simple rondo form. 


FIG. 30.5 More complex rondo form. 


This second plan offered Classical composers a symmetrical design—it traced the same sequence of events forward and 
backward—while also creating variety. 

Haydn and Mozart generally composed their rondos in a lighter, more popular style than the “serious” movements in 
sonata form. But a rondo could offer high drama of its own, as in the last movement of Beethoven’s “Pathétique” Sonata in 
C minor, Op. 13, composed in 1798 for piano (Listening Map 25). 


MAKING CONNECTIONS The Rise of the Minuet 


Louis XIV was a monarch who took dancing rather seriously. He promoted ballets at his court of Versailles, surrounded 
himself with skilled dancers, and participated in dance spectacles. At one he appeared dressed as Apollo, the god of 
light, and afterward became known as the Sun King. Among Louis’s favorite dances was the minuet, in which a couple 
performed small, elegant steps in an S or Zpattern. 

Minuets became such a fixture of European court life that they started to be played as concert music. In the 
eighteenth century J. S. Bach included them in his dance suites, and they were heavily used by Classical composers. 
Haydn and Mozart wrote hundreds of minuets. Of Haydn’s 104 symphonies, 96 have minuets, and Mozart even 
interrupted the finale of one of his piano concertos with an elegant minuet. But by the nineteenth century, the dance 





began falling out of fashion. As evidence of its decline in popularity, only two of Beethoven’s nine symphonies have 
movements specified as minuets. 


>) LISTENING MAP Z 5 


LUDWIG Van BEETHOVEN, Piano Sonata in C minor, Op. 13 (“Pathétique’”), Third 


Movement (Allegro) 
{1798} 


AUDIO: “Pathétique,” Third Movement 


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The last movement of Beethoven’s “Pathétique” Sonata is a rondo that falls into a seven-part form: 
ABACABA. There are four statements of the opening refrain (A), an episode (B) that returns late in 
the movement, and another episode (C), that forms the midpoint of the movement. A, B, and C use 
differently profiled themes. 





( ) first LISTEN 


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«-) «deeper LISTEN 


TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 


0:00 First part of main theme pauses on a high note; second part pushes theme one pitch 


higher before gradually falling downward; modulates to new key 


Allegro 
t ipbeat 





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0:29 Lyrical theme, dolce (sweetly); dramatic passages with cascading scale and pause 





dalcs 


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Refrain theme 





TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 






1:35 Slower note values; dramatic passages with cascading scale and pause 


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2:29 


2:46 
3:31 


4:11 Coda (tonic minor) 


check your KNOWLEDGE 30 


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30.1 
30.2 
30.3 
30.4 
30.5 
30.6 


LP 


Chapter 30 Quiz 


CHAPTER 
(31) 
Joseph Haydn 


Of all the eighteenth-century Classical composers, the Austrian Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) enjoyed the 
widest international acclaim. His vast catalogue of music includes over 100 symphonies. There are nearly 
seventy string quartets, a genre he was the first to perfect. He also wrote hundreds of other chamber works, 
dozens of concertos, and sixty-odd keyboard sonatas, composed first for harpsichord and then for piano 
when it became fashionable. Haydn’s vocal music includes operas, oratorios, and a large body of sacred 
music. 





Understanding Haydn’s music is essential to understanding the Classical style. 


So celebrated was Haydn’s music that dishonest publishers sold imitations of his work by lesser 
composers under his name. His music was widely performed in many countries, and his symphonies reached 
the American colonies. He received commissions from France, Spain, and Italy. All the while, his 
compositions were being regularly performed in Vienna, London, and Paris. 

During his long life, Haydn witnessed significant changes in music. As a boy, he was familiar with 
Baroque music, which by the time he came of age had given way to a lighter style. During the 1770s, ’80s, 
and ’90s, he played a major role in shaping the Classical style. And by the time he died, much of 
Beethoven’s revolutionary new music had been completed. Because Haydn’s life and music sweeps across 
this spectrum of styles, understanding his music is essential to understanding the Classical style. 


31.1 Haydn’s Life and Music 


Haydn was born in the southeastern part of Austria, near Hungary. As a child, he sang in the choir of St. Stephen’s Cathedral 
in Vienna. In composition, he was largely self-taught. 





St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, where the young Haydn sang in the choir. 


In 1761 Haydn gained a position at the court of Prince Paul Anton Esterhazy, the head of an aristocratic Hungarian 
family. The prince expected Haydn to appear on command with his musicians, all wearing wigs, special uniforms, and white 
stockings. He composed music as the prince desired and for the prince’s exclusive use. Haydn also served as librarian for the 
court orchestra and curator of the musical instruments, and he instructed the leisured ladies of the court in singing. In return, 
he received a salary and meals at the officers’ table. 

Prince Paul Anton was succeeded in 1762 by his brother, Nicholas “the Magnificent.” In what is now Hungary, the new 
prince built a splendid palace called Esterhaza. It boasted an ornate opera house, a marionette theater, a game preserve, and 
fountains. Designed to rival the magnificence of Versailles near Paris, the palace contained well over 100 rooms. 





Esterhaza Palace, in what is now Hungary, where Haydn worked for nearly thirty years. 


Haydn served Prince Nicholas for nearly thirty years. During that long employment, the composer worked steadily on 
symphonies, string quartets, and operas. Though slow at first to develop his craft, within a few years of joining the Esterhazy 
court Haydn was producing symphonies of remarkable variety and freshness. He wrote symphonies in three and four 
movements, symphonies that borrowed from Baroque genres, and symphonies that ended with fugues—in short, he tried one 
approach after another as he searched for his individual style. 


MAKING CONNECTIONS The Esterhazys and Haydn 








Baryton. 


The Esterhazys were a noble Hungarian family that had gained enormous wealth during the fifteenth century, 
eventually becoming the largest landowners in Hungary. Fiercely loyal to the Hapsburg emperors of Austria, they 
helped end the Turkish siege of Vienna in 1683. They were also dedicated patrons of the arts. Haydn served three 
Esterhazy princes between 1761 and 1790. The second, Nicholas the Magnificent, was Haydn’s principal patron and a 
serious musician as well. His preferred instrument was a little-known string instrument called the baryton. Played with 
a bow, it resembled a cello but had several more strings, including some that resonated freely from its back. Haydn 
wrote hundreds of chamber works on command that featured the baryton, all the property of, and in homage to, 
Nicholas. 


In the late 1760s, Haydn began composing music in a heightened, serious style, marked by sudden dramatic changes in 
texture and dynamics, wide leaps in melodic lines, and abrupt pauses. Several works were in minor keys, which was unusual 
for the time. The most remarkable composition of this period is the “Farewell” Symphony (No. 45) of 1772, a unique work 
with a special purpose. Isolated at Esterhaza, Haydn’s musicians had been away from their families for a long time and were 
eager to obtain leave to return home. In response, Haydn used the symphony’s last movement to petition the prince. What 
began as an energetic movement unexpectedly ground to a halt and gave way to an additional slow movement. Here, one by 
one, the instrumental parts began to drop out as the musicians symbolically bade farewell, leaving just two violins to 
complete the symphony with delicate, barely audible chords. The prince got the message and granted the musicians their 
leave the very next day. 

Haydn once joked that the isolation of Esterhaza forced him to become original. Still, his label as the father of the 
symphony is not accurate. By the time he began writing symphonies two basic types were already common: 


¢ The Italian symphony was in three movements, in the sequence of fast slow-fast. 


¢ The Austrian/German symphony was in four movements, of which the second or third was typically a minuet and 
trio. 


Haydn experimented with both types and eventually adopted the four-movement symphony as his favorite. 

By the 1770s, Haydn’s reputation was spreading through Europe. The Empress Maria Theresa remarked that in order to 
enjoy good opera she had to leave Vienna and journey to Esterhaza. 

Within a few years, Haydn began to reject the highly charged character of works such as the “Farewell” Symphony. 
Later in the decade, he began accepting commissions and releasing his music to publishers in Austria and abroad. In the 
mid-1780s Haydn was asked to write six symphonies for a concert series in Paris (the Paris symphonies, Nos. 82-87). 


Haydn was fully freed from his obligations to the Esterhazy court when Prince Nicholas died in 1790. He now became a 
celebrity among composers, writing music for public consumption. Johann Peter Salomon, an enterprising violinist, visited 
Haydn in Vienna and persuaded him to compose music for public concerts in London. Haydn’s freedom allowed him to 
make two trips to England, where he won acclaim in the press, received an honorary doctorate from Oxford University, and 
had audiences with King George III. The fruits of his visits to England were the twelve grand London symphonies (Nos. 93— 
104), the culmination of his symphonic style. 


VEN @INCOROCONINI X04 0 (OE ws Fe 





By 1791, when Haydn arrived in England to premiere the first of his London symphonies, he was an international 
celebrity whose music was being performed throughout Europe, as well as in Russia and the United States. Haydn’s 
twelve London symphonies were enthusiastically received by Londoners, and he was embraced as the “Shakespeare of 
music.” Carefully playing upon his audience’s expectations, Haydn offered symphonies filled with unexpected 
surprises, theatrical gestures, and quickly changing moods. Like Shakespeare, the composer combined moments of high 
tragedy with moments of comic relief. He also included full measures of irony, wit, and humor, all in a style that 
transcended national borders. 





Hanover Square Rooms, where Haydn’s London symphonies were performed. 


Haydn spent his last years in Vienna. Impressed by Handel’s oratorios in England, Haydn composed two masterful 
works, The Creation and The Seasons. He premiered these in Vienna at the turn of the nineteenth century. He also finished a 
series of six Masses for soloists, chorus, and orchestra. These powerful compositions joined the rich traditions of sacred 
polyphony with the elaborate forms of the Classical symphony. 


31.2 Haydn and the Classical Orchestra 


Haydn’s orchestras were much smaller than the orchestras we know today. The heart of the ensemble was the string section 
—first violins, second violins, violas, cellos, and double bass. Typically, the first violins carried the theme and the cellos and 
double bass played the bass line. The second violins and violas filled the gap between theme and bass line with chords or 
other material. To provide different instrumental colors, Haydn added a small number of woodwind and brass instruments, 
often just two oboes and two French horns. Oboes could carry melodic lines themselves or double the first violin part. Or the 
oboes could join the French horns to play harmonies to support the busy string section. For an especially festive symphony, 
Haydn would enlarge the orchestra by adding two trumpets and two timpani as well as more woodwinds, such as a flute or 
bassoon. At Esterhaza, he directed an ensemble of about twenty to twenty-five musicians. An orchestra this size was much 
closer to the ensembles used by J. S. Bach than to a modern orchestra of about 100 musicians. 

Eighteenth-century orchestras were not directed by a conductor standing on a podium with a baton. Usually, the leader of 
the first violin section gave the musicians their cues. Haydn himself participated from a harpsichord, playing the bass line 
with his left hand and improvising chords with his right (a throwback to Baroque continuo practice; see Chapter 18). 

The large scale of Haydn’s late symphonies led to the expansion of the Classical orchestra. In London, Haydn wrote for 
an orchestra of some forty musicians. Along with two oboes, the London symphonies require paired flutes and bassoons as 
standard members of the woodwind section. Some of these symphonies also require two clarinets. Haydn enlarged the brass 
section by regularly adding two trumpets to the two horns, and he routinely wrote parts for two timpani. 

Haydn’s late symphonies also reorganized the lower range of the string section by separating the cellos from the double 
basses. The double basses continued to play the bass line, but the cellos became increasingly independent. Haydn was now 
writing for a five-part string ensemble instead of for the four-part ensemble of his earlier symphonies. Table 
31.1 summarizes the Classical orchestra used by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and other early nineteenth-century composers. 


TABLE 31.1 The High Classical Orchestra (ca. 1790) 


Woodwinds Two flutes 
Two oboes 


Two clarinets 
Two bassoons 


Brass Two horns 
Two trumpets 


Percussion Two timpani 


Strings (several per part) Violin I 
Violin IT 
Viola 
Cello 
Double bass 


Harpsichord (used as continuo instrument) 





Haydn’s late symphonies were designed to respond to the tastes of his public audiences. He delighted the new 
concertgoers with seductive dance rhythms, charming tunes, and all sorts of special effects. The popular “Surprise” 
Symphony is titled after the celebrated fortissimo chord in the slow movement. But, like other late symphonies, the 
“Surprise” entertains the listener with many other unpredictable twists and turns—it is, in effect, a symphony of surprises. 
Its last movement ingeniously solves a problem of form by combining elements of sonata form and rondo, yielding a highly 
entertaining hybrid of the two. In the process, he trips up the listener’s musical expectations as well (Listening Map 26). 

The movement begins with a catchy soft theme (A) in the violins in a major key (_ @). The theme divides into two 
portions. Haydn repeats the first portion, giving the overall theme a miniature binary structure, a a b. Marked by a 
distinctive opening two-note segment and always performed  p, this theme functions throughout the movement as a 
refrain. At the conclusion of this theme, Haydn launches into a vigorous forte passage. Rapid sweeping runs in the violins 
modulate from the tonic to a second key. After this passage ends with a bar of rest, he introduces a new compact theme in 
the second key. Performed _p, this new theme represents the B section, or first episode in a rondo form (_ @). Another 
busy passage for full orchestra ranging from fortissimo to pianissimo brings us back to the tonic key and the refrain (A). 

So far, the movement proceeds like a rondo, with three clear sections in the order A B A. But now Haydn departs from 
the expected course. First, he shortens the second statement of A. Then, instead of treating the next section, C, as a second 


episode with its own theme, he writes an extended section based on the first theme. This extended section is 
performed forte and filled with animated passages for the strings. This “new” section modulates unpredictably like the 
development section of a sonata form, making it seem as if the rondo form has been left behind. A then returns in the tonic 
key, momentarily tipping the balance toward the rondo form, but the energetic modulations resume as Haydn develops his 
opening theme in the minor instead of major mode. After this dramatic center of the movement quiets down, Haydn brings 
back the refrain (A) and first episode (B) in the tonic, restoring the normal order of events in a rondo. 

The last statement of A turns into a brief coda with surprises of its own, including a dramatic timpani roll. The closing 
measures forcefully assert the tonic, but in one final surprise, Haydn writes two = chords in the winds before two 
decisive chords for the whole orchestra. These dynamic jolts trigger memories of the orchestral crash in the slow 
movement, further enhancing our delight at being surprised. 


>) LISTENING MAP 2 6 


FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN, Symphony No. 94 in G major (“Surprise’’), Fourth Movement 


(Allegro Molto) 
{1791} 


AUDIO: “Surprise” Symphony, Fourth Movement 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. | 


Hybrid of rondo and sonata form 


Classical orchestra (winds, brass, timpani, and strings) 


The fourth movement of Haydn’s “Surprise” Symphony begins as a rondo with a refrain (A), 
episode (B), and refrain (A). The music then departs in a section that sounds more like the 
development of a sonata form (C). When the refrain inevitably comes back, the movement once 
again resembles a rondo. 





() why to LISTEN 


Haydn was a master of using surprise, wit, and humor in his music. The Classical style that he developed and perfected 
generally emphasized grace, symmetry, and orderly design, but the composer was also capable of disrupting his listeners’ 
expectations in a way that added to their enjoyment. The finale of the “Surprise” Symphony is a case in point. Here Haydn 
deliberately blurs the formal outlines of the music. Is it a rondo? Is it in sonata form? The music fits now into one form, and 
now into the other, encouraging us to guess about how the movement will end. The symphony is designed to keep us on 
edge and to explore how music can surprise us with the unexpected. 


( ) first LISTEN 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 


«—-) 2 deeper LISTEN 










TIME FORM SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 





@ Refrain in tonic in miniature binary form: 


First portion in violins, FP (repeated in violins with flute) 
Allegro di molto 





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0:35 
1:08 


1:35 
1:42 
2:13 
2:20 


2:46 
3:03 
3:11 
3:27 





Transition 


B 


Transition 


ALF ]alS> 


A 
Transition 
B 

A (Coda) 


Second portion 
Rapid / passages in violins, modulating; measure of rest 


@ Episode with new theme, Pp, in second key 






[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 


Rapid f passages in violins, then ff chords, dropping to #P and 
PP 


Abridged statement of refrain in tonic, P 
Like a development section of sonata form, modulating with f passages 
Abridged statement of refrain in tonic, Pp 


Resumption of development-like section with A treated in the minor mode 
f and ff, then diminuendo 


Refrain in the tonic major 
Rapid f passages in violins; measure of rest 
Episode with second theme, , in tonic key; brief f transition 


Refrain (modified) in the tonic key inthe winds, =P, against a timpani roll 
and dramatic crescendo 


Feigned modulation, return to the tonic key; rapid passages, ff chords, 
then two chords in the winds, and two ® chords for the entire orchestra 


31.3 Haydn and the String Quartet 


Along with his symphonies, Haydn is remembered for the string quartets that span his long career. He was the first master of 
this new genre, combining its instruments in a great variety of ways. In his quartets, the first violin might play the melody 
accompanied by the second violin, viola, and cello, or the ensemble might divide into two pairs of instruments. In yet 
another arrangement, the four instruments might engage as equal partners in imitative counterpoint. Haydn’s mature quartets 
realized the full potential of the ensemble. The poet Goethe’s comparison of a string quartet to a conversation among four 
equals is an apt description of Haydn’s mature quartets, in which all four musicians often participate in a rich exchange of 
material. 

The six quartets of Opus 76, composed in 1797, mark the summit of Haydn’s achievement in this genre. The third 
quartet, known as the “Emperor,” is in four movements, like most string quartets. The first and fourth movements are in 
sonata form, the second consists of a theme and four variations, and the third is a minuet and trio. The second movement is 
constructed upon one of Haydn’s most celebrated themes (see Listening Map 27). 

Haydn originally composed the theme of the second movement for a hymn marking the birthday of the Austrian emperor 
Francis II, in 1797. The composer then reused the theme without its text for the slow movement of his “Emperor” Quartet. 
The theme consists of three phrases: a, b, and c. Phrases a and c are repeated so that the overall shape is aabcc(  @). 


| 


| 
i | 





Nh 
La 


Austrian emperor Francis II. 


In each of the four variations that follow, the entire theme appears in one instrument while other instruments accompany 
it. Haydn thus keeps the emperor’s theme intact but surrounds it with varied textures, rhythms, registers, and 
accompaniments. Initially, the theme is entrusted to the first violin. In the variations, it moves to the second violin, cello, and 
viola, before returning to the first violin. The theme itself and the fourth variation are scored in a homophonic texture for the 
full ensemble. Variation 1 uses only two instruments, and variations 2 and 3 require, for the most part, three instruments. 

Rhythmically, the first variation has an active part for the first violin; the second and third variations flow along in 
slower notes; and the fourth variation (like the theme itself) moves mostly in even notes. Toward the end, the fourth 
variation shifts to a high range, setting it off from the earlier variations. Haydn never departs from the tonic key, and he 
limits his dynamics to soft levels for the length of this exquisite movement. 


>) LISTENING MAP vy 7 


FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN, String Quartet in G Major, Op. 76 No. 3 (“Emperor”), Second 


Movement (Poco adagio, cantabile) 
{1797} 


AUDIO: “Emperor” Quartet, Second Movement 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 


Theme and four variations 
Duple( 3) 
First violin, second violin, viola, cello 


The second movement of Haydn’s “Emperor” string quartet uses a theme that the composer 
originally wrote for the birthday of the Austrian emperor. The theme is initially presented by the 
first violin, the leader of the quartet. In the following four variations, the theme then moves through 
all four instruments, in the order of second violin, cello, viola, and (again) the first violin. The other 
instruments present varied material against the theme. 





() why to LISTEN 


Great melodies are always memorable, and the theme of the slow movement to Haydn’s “Emperor” string quartet is no 
exception. It is not difficult to imagine why this theme, which uses repetition but also contrast, later served as a national 
anthem for two countries. But there is a second reason why we should listen to this music. Haydn’s use of the “Emperor’s 
Hymn” as part of a string quartet provides an example of the best chamber music that the Classical period had to offer. In 
this intimate conversation between four string instruments, the first violin leads the way, as the emperor’s voice. The other 
three musicians tend to play supporting roles, but all four instruments state and vary the theme. They are treated as equals, 
even if they ultimately yield to the first violin, who bows to the emperor. The theme remains constant, but the combinations 
of instruments change, providing variety. 


( ) first LISTEN 


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(—-) «deeper LISTEN 











TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 
0:00 @ Theme: In five phrases (stated by violin 1): aabcc 
Poco adagio, cantabile ied : “a 
Pause on high pitch = g 
Same high pitch set off by fermata (pause) : 
, Climax 
Smooth return to 
c c starting pitch (tonic) 
* oS, sign for an ornament known as a tum 
[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 

1:36 Theme in violin 2, », accompanied by ornamental line in violin 1 
2:55 Theme in cello, », accompanied by the other instruments 
4:24 Variation 3 Theme in viola, |», accompanied by the other instruments 


5:55 Variation 4 Theme in violin1, pbutending pp, accompanied by the other instruments 


31.4 Haydn’s Influence 


Haydn’s influence was extraordinary, both during and after his lifetime. Building on the accomplishments of lesser figures, 
he established the symphony and the string quartet as the two most important genres of Classical instrumental music. Mozart 
and Beethoven drew freely on his contributions, as did countless other composers. International in appeal, his music 
communicated through its warmth, wit, and humanity. It reached new public audiences and represented the best the Classical 
period could offer. 





MAKING CONNECTIONS The Politics of Haydn’s “Emperor’s Hymn” 


When Haydn composed his “Emperor’s Hymn” for the birthday of Francis II in 1797, he could scarcely have imagined 
how the melody would be revived in later times. In 1848, the German poet Hoffmann von Fallersleben wrote a poem to 
be sung to Haydn’s melody with the text “Deutschland, Deutschland tiber alles” (“Germany, Germany above all else’’). 
Like many liberal thinkers of the time, von Fallersleben advocated for the unification of Germany under a constitution 
that guaranteed basic civil rights for its citizens (unification did not happen until 1871). Then, in the twentieth century, 
Haydn’s melody did double duty as the Austrian anthem (with a different text) and the German anthem. With the rise to 
power of the Nazis, the text “Deutschland, Deutschland tiber alles” took on a considerably more sinister meaning. After 
the Second World War, the anthem was banned until 1952. Today it is sung with only the third verse of von 
Fallersleben’s poem, which speaks of unity, justice, and freedom. 


check your KNOWLEDGE 31 
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31.1 
31.2 
31.3 
31.4 


Q 
Chapter 31 Quiz 


CHAPTER 


32 


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 


The career of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) contrasted sharply with Haydn’s. A child prodigy, Mozart began 
composing when he was only five years old; Haydn developed his craft later in life. Mozart was one of the leading keyboard 
virtuosos of his time; Haydn never won acclaim as a soloist. Finally, though Mozart earned a considerable income, he died 
in debt at age thirty-five; Haydn lived a long life and reaped the rewards of a successful international career. 





Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as a child at the fortepiano. 


Still, the two composers had much in common and greatly admired each other’s music. Younger by twenty-four years, 
Mozart honored his friend by dedicating a series of string quartets to him. Haydn declared that Mozart was the greatest 
composer alive. Crushed by the news of Mozart’s death, Haydn paid tribute by arranging for his music to be published. 


32.1 Mozart’s Life and Career 


Mozart was born into a musical family in Salzburg, Austria. His father, Leopold, served as composer and violinist in the 
court of the city’s ruling prince-archbishop. His older sister, Maria Anna (known as “Nanner!’’), distinguished herself at the 
keyboard and composed, though regrettably none of her music has survived. As Nannerl was learning to play the 
harpsichord, three-year-old Wolfgang began picking out melodies and chords, relying on his uncanny musical ear to identify 
pitches. Proclaimed by his father to be the miracle that God allowed to be born in Salzburg, Wolfgang was soon improvising 
at the keyboard with astonishing facility. He could play blindfolded or with his hands covered and was equally adept at the 
violin. 





Nannerl Mozart, Wolfgang’s sister, age eleven. 


Devoted to nurturing his children’s talents, Leopold took his family on an international tour in 1763 that brought them as 
far as London. Along the way, they visited royal courts, where the children entertained the nobility. The seven-year-old 
Wolfgang performed at the Palace of Versailles before Louis XV and in London before George II. With his sister, he met 
Johann Christian Bach, youngest son of J. S. Bach, and sat on his lap while Bach improvised at the keyboard. After 
returning to Salzburg, the boy gave new evidence of his musical gifts. When the archbishop doubted the young child’s 
abilities, Mozart was confined to a room to write a sacred work without assistance. He easily completed the task. 

Wolfgang next went with his father to Italy. During Holy Week in 1770, he astonished observers at the Sistine Chapel in 
Rome by writing down from memory a choral work he had heard only once. More important for Leopold, Wolfgang began 
earning commissions to compose Italian operas, providing income to help the family’s finances. 

When the archbishop in Salzburg died, his successor, Hieronymus, reorganized his orchestra and engaged Mozart to join 
the court musicians in 1772. Like Haydn at Esterhaza, Mozart composed music on command, including church music and 
serenades for visiting dignitaries, but he chafed at the archbishop’s strictness. In search of a new post, he traveled with his 
mother to Germany and France but without success. Sadly, his mother died while they were in Paris, and Mozart had to 
break the news to his father. 

In 1781, Mozart wrote an Italian opera to be presented in Munich. The premiere was a success, but the archbishop 
ordered Mozart back to his service, a demand Wolfgang resented. Matters went from bad to worse until the archbishop 
angrily dismissed the rebellious composer. Mozart decided to seek his fortune primarily as a freelance musician in Vienna, 
where he lived and worked for most of the last ten years of his life. 

Mozart’s move to Vienna marked a turning pointing in his career. He earned income from private lessons and 
commissions. He also gave concerts, selling tickets to the public from his own residence. During the Viennese years, he 
quickly turned out piano concertos for his own concerts. He created an extraordinary series of masterpieces, but Mozart’s 
manuscripts reveal just how hectic his life was. Some piano parts for his concertos were left blank or thinly sketched, to be 
filled in when he performed them in concert. In Vienna, Mozart also joined a secret society known as the Freemasons, 
allowing him to make useful connections with members of the local nobility. 





Vienna in the 1780s. 


Despite his rapid output, in his last years Mozart lived beyond his means and had to borrow from friends, among them 
some fellow Freemasons. Even as he lay on his deathbed, Mozart was working feverishly on the Requiem Mass in D minor. 
An anonymous visitor commissioned the work, apparently on behalf of a count who intended to perform the work as his 
own. Mozart left this exquisite work unfinished. According to one account he was singing the timpani part when he died. 
Others tried to complete it, including his friend and pupil Franz Xavier Siissmayr, who provided the version that is most 
often performed today. The mystery surrounding the composition added to its allure, with many believing that Mozart 
conceived it as his own requiem. 


Mozart’s letters 


MAKING CONNECTIONS 





How did Mozart spend his time apart from music? For entertainment, he often attended the theater or played cards, and 
he was especially fond of billiards. In order to mix into the higher levels of society, he dressed in fine attire. He also 
became a Freemason, joining a Viennese lodge in 1784 and remaining an active Mason until he died. Freemasonry was 
a secret male society dedicated to Enlightenment ideals of tolerance, freedom, and humanitarianism. It attracted 
members of the middle and leisured classes in Europe. Among its ranks were musicians and statesmen, including 
Haydn, and in the young American republic, George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. Freemasonry had not always 
been well received, but the Austrian emperor Joseph II tolerated the lodges. The movement was popular in Vienna, 
where it attracted not only commoners such as Mozart but nobility as well. 





Masonic banner. 


Members were initiated through a series of rites and moved through various ranks on their way to becoming master 
masons. For Mozart, Freemasonry offered a social outlet and an unrestricted space where he could exchange ideas 
freely. He also was intrigued with the rituals of the movement and composed several works specifically for use in 
lodges. His final opera, The Magic Flute, is viewed as especially rich in Masonic symbolism. 


When Mozart died, possibly from rheumatic fever, he was buried outside Vienna in an unmarked grave reserved for 
commoners. To this day, his remains have not been found, though controversy has swirled around a skull thought to have 
been Mozart’s. DNA testing of the skull has so far proven inconclusive. 

The range of Mozart’s music is part of the staggering achievement compressed into his short life. He wrote over 600 
compositions, which were catalogued in the nineteenth century by Ludwig von Kéchel. (The K numbers used to identify 
Mozart’s compositions are in honor of Kéchel.) 





MAKING CONNECTIONS Mozart and Posterity 


Soon after Mozart’s death, legends began clustering around his memory. According to the most sensational, an envious 
court composer, Antonio Salieri (1750-1825), had poisoned Mozart. Salieri consistently denied the rumor, and there 
was no evidence to support it. Nevertheless, in the nineteenth century the Russian playwright Pushkin kept the legend 
alive in a short play about the two composers. Later, the Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov composed a short opera 
perpetuating it. In the twentieth century Peter Shaffer wrote a play (Amadeus, 1979) based on the Pushkin and Rimsky- 
Korsakov works. Shaffer’s depictions of Mozart and Salieri made for great drama. Mozart was portrayed as a divinely 
inspired genius at odds with his rude and immature behavior, while Salieri was a mediocre composer struggling to 
come to terms with Mozart’s unique musical gifts. The play became a major film in 1984 that won eight Academy 
Awards. 





Mozart and Salieri as portrayed in the 1984 film Amadeus. 


Some critics argued that Shaffer’s interpretation of Mozart was not supported by the historical record. Still, the 
theme of Mozart as an extraordinary prodigy stimulated no end of discussion and inspired countless writers, musicians, 
and artists. The mystery surrounding Mozart’s death at age thirty-five only reinforced the idea that the prodigy was a 
child who had never grown up. 


Several of Mozart’s many operas—he wrote his first at age twelve—are performed often, including the Italian 
operas The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni, and the German operas The Abduction from the Seraglio and The Magic 
Flute. There is also a wealth of sacred music, including the unfinished masterpiece, the Requiem in D minor. Among the 
many symphonies are the pensive No. 40 in G minor and the brilliant No. 41 in C major, known as the “Jupiter.” Mozart 
wrote nearly forty concertos, many of them for piano and orchestra. He crafted string quintets and quartets, piano trios, 


violin sonatas, music for wind ensembles, and, of course, music for solo piano. There is even music for mechanical clock 


and for glass harmonica, an odd instrument that required performers to rub glasses filled with water in order to produce 
eerily resonant pitches. 


Video 32.1: Mozart’s Turkish Rondo. Why would Mozart write a Turkish Rondo? Larry Todd tells the story of how the Turkish army nearly 
conquered Vienna in 1683, bringing with them Turkish coffee, the croissant, and Turkish music. Mozart imitated the sounds of Turkish music 
in his Turkish Rondo, which Larry Todd introduces and performs on the piano. 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. | 


32.2 Maria Theresia von Paradis: “The Blind Enchantress” 


As a concert pianist, Mozart was in constant need of new music to showcase his own virtuosity. Still, there is evidence he 
created K. 488 for one of his students, Barbara Ployer, daughter of a wealthy Salzburg merchant. And Mozart may have 
written another concerto for the pianist/composer Maria Theresia von Paradis (1759-1824). Named after the Austrian 
empress Maria Theresia (r. 1740—1780), Paradis lost her sight at age three and yet developed into a phenomenal touring 
piano virtuoso. Known as “the Blind Enchantress,” she was reported to have played sixty concertos from memory. Later in 
life she devoted herself to education and established the first school in Paris for blind musicians, which boasted a successful 
concert series by her students. 

Paradis studied composition with Mozart’s rival, Antonio Salieri (see the Making Connections feature “Mozart and 
Posterity” on p. 229), and produced a significant amount of music. Her work included operas and piano concertos— 
although, sadly, most of this music is lost. Among her published compositions is a set of twelve songs, created during one of 
her concert tours. They appeared in 1786, the year of Mozart’s K. 488. One in particular, “Morgenlied eines armen Mannes” 
(“The Morning Song of a Poor Man”), captures the strong emotions of grief that Mozart, Haydn, and others occasionally 
plumbed as well in their music (Listening Map 28). 


>) LISTENING MAP y 5 


MARIA THERESIA VON PARADIS, “Morgenlied eines armen Mannes” (“The Morning Song 


of a Poor Man’) 
{1786} 


AUDIO: “Morgenlied eines armen Mannes” 


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8 
Langsam, zart (slowly, with feeling) 


Not even two minutes long, Paradis’s short, expressive song is based on a poem about a destitute 
man. The vocal line droops with descending figures imitating sighs, while much of the piano part 
moves slightly faster with an agitated undercurrent of repeated chords. Several strategically placed 
shifts in dynamics from forte to piano increase the tension. Finally, a little after the midpoint, the 
music comes to a brief, dramatic halt on the highest pitch of the piece. The tempo then resumes, 
allowing the music to reach its wistful conclusion. 





() why to LISTEN 


The poem Paradis set is by the minor eighteenth-century novelist and poet Johann Timotheus Hermes, who filled his verses 
with sentimental imagery. In the poem, the poor man calls upon the dawning day to spare his sleeping wife and infant from 
his misery. Coupled with Paradis’s music, Hermes’s lines achieve a greater impact than when they stand alone, illustrating 
music’s power to heighten meaning. 


( ) first LISTEN 


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«—-) a deeper LISTEN 


TIME SECTION TRANSLATION 





0:00 Weckst du mich zum neuen Jammer, Do you awaken me to new misery, 
Tag, den meine Sehnsucht rief, Day that my yearning called, 
Als in meiner kleinem Kammer When in my small room 
Weib und Sdugling ruhig schlief? Wife and infant slept calmly? 
0:29 Trefft nur mich, ihr neuen Sorgen, Touch just me, you new cares, 
Schonet doch, des Weibes Herz, But spare my wife’s heart, 
(Dramatic pause) 
0:56 Weck sie spat, qualvoller Morgen, Stir her later, morning of misery, 


Ach, ihr letzter Blick war Schmerz. Ah, your last glance was painful. 





32.3 Mozart and the Classical Concerto 


Mozart was the extraordinary pianist of his age, with few virtuosos approaching his command of the instrument. He 
produced a substantial amount of piano music, including a brilliant series of two dozen piano concertos that showcased the 
instrument. Mozart was not the first to write concertos for piano and orchestra, but he was the first to develop the piano 
concerto into a powerfully expressive and popular genre of the Classical style. 

The Classical three-movement concerto that Mozart perfected was a combination of the older Baroque concerto and 
Classical sonata form. From the Baroque concerto, he retained the idea of a concerto being a contest between an orchestra 
and a soloist. From sonata form, Mozart took the three-part division of exposition, development, and recapitulation. This 
division is most clearly apparent in the first movements of his concertos. 

Among Mozart’s most popular concertos is Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488, composed in 1786. The 
concerto’s memorable themes range from the gentle lyricism of the first movement to the intense brooding melancholy of 
the slow movement and the lighthearted playfulness of the rondo finale. Mozart restricts himself to five woodwinds in the 
orchestra (one flute, two clarinets, and two bassoons). He uses these instruments for soft, muted wind colors that enrich and 
play off against the strings. 

The first movement illustrates the marriage of Baroque elements with sonata form (Listening Map 29). In it, Mozart 
works with four sections for the orchestra (called tutti, Italian for “all,” here abbreviated T) and three main solo sections (S), 
which feature the soloist with light orchestral accompaniment: 


EEE 


- Se 
a : ® per ; 
: = 
shy! ih 
a = a DA 


1. & 
Bil 
‘ 
} 
ane | 
; 





. = . : ° : , 
a Jd 
An autograph manuscript by Mozart includes a doodled sketch of his favorite student, Barbara Ployer. 


This plan fits into a modified Classical sonata form: 





One of the highlights of this movement is the piano cadenza that occurs toward the end. Stately orchestral chords and a 
solemn pause prepare us for the cadenza. It then erupts into rushing scales, sweeping sets of notes, and intense trills. 


Ordinarily, Mozart improvised his cadenzas during performances, without bothering to write them down. His cadenza for 
this movement has survived, however, giving us a good idea of his brilliant keyboard skills. When it is over, the orchestra 
brings the movement to a strong conclusion. 


>) LISTENING MAP 29 


w.A. MOZART, Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488, First Movement (Allegro) 
{1786} 


AUDIO: Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, First Movement 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. | 


Synthesis of Classical sonata form and Baroque concerto form, alternating between sections for the 
orchestra (T) and piano (S) 


Common time(  §) 
Woodwinds (one flute, two clarinets, two bassoons), brass (two French horns), strings 


The first movement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major alternates between sections that 
feature the orchestra (T) and piano (S). All told, there are seven main sections (T1 S1 T2 S2 T3 S3 
T4), and they trace, in their presentations of themes and keys, the main events of a movement in 
Classical sonata form. One especially distinctive feature is the interruption of the last orchestral 
section (T4) to accommodate a virtuoso cadenza for the piano alone. 





()» why to LISTEN 


Traditionally, concertos are about virtuosity: a skilled soloist is set against an orchestra and assigned impressive and 
technically challenging displays of notes. And indeed some concertos pursue the idea of virtuosity to an extreme and leave 
us wondering, “How does the soloist do that?” As probably the greatest pianist of his age, Mozart was certainly capable of 
technically demanding passages. But there is another reason to admire and listen to his concertos. In a larger sense, they 
offer a study in group interactions. In the case of the Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, the pianist is the individual and the 
orchestra is the group. As you listen to this exquisite music, try to follow the shifting relationships between the pianist and 
orchestra. Note how the piano often asserts its independence from the orchestra. Note too how the piano sometimes works 
harmoniously with the orchestra. There is much more going on in Mozart’s music than just the notes on the page—the 
concerto can be heard almost as study of social relationships and the individual’s role in a group. 


( ) first LISTEN 


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(—-) 2 deeper LISTEN 







TIME PART TUTTI (FULL LISTEN FOR THIS 
ORCHESTRA)/SOLOIST 


First theme in tonic key (a), 
Allegro 








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this content. ] 






f 


Transition, 





TIME PART TUTTI (FULL LISTEN FOR THIS 
ORCHESTRA)/SOLOIST 


0:53 Second theme in tonic key (6), P 





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this content. | 


Closing passage, ff 


2:01 S1 First theme in tonic key (a), ornamented in piano, P 
Bridge, £, modulating to second key 
Second theme in second key (6), PF 


Closing passage, with trill in piano 


4:06 T2 Brief orchestral passage; a new theme in second key (c) 





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this content. ] 


4:28 82 Ornamented version of c for the piano; exchanges between 


woodwinds and piano as the music modulates through several 
keys 
Ascending scale in the piano 


5:54 T3 First theme in tonic key (a), P 


6:09 S3 First theme in tonic key (a), P 
Transition, f 
Second theme in tonic key (b),  P 
Closing passage in tonic, jf, with restatement of new theme 
(c) 
Trill in piano 

8:26 T4 Based on closing passage, ,andnewtheme(c), #; then 
orchestral chords 


8:53 
9:57 


Piano cadenza Ending with a trill 


T4 Closing measures in the tonic key for orchestra 





32.4 Mozart and Italian Opera 


Italian opera continued to dominate the opera houses of Mozart’s Vienna as it did elsewhere in Europe. One 
of the leading composers of Italian opera was the German C. W. Gluck (1714-1787), who worked in Vienna 
and Paris and also wrote French operas. In the 1760s and 1770s, Gluck pushed for major changes to serious 
opera, in order to make the music serve the drama. He believed that the overture should mirror the drama 
about to unfold on stage, and that arias should not interfere with the unfolding of the story. As a result, Gluck 
did not use da capo arias, which had allowed singers to stop the drama with cadenzas that showed off their 
voices. Above all, Gluck advocated for a “beautiful simplicity” in serious opera, in keeping with the 
neoclassicism of his time. 





C. W. Gluck, whose reforms to the genre of serious opera inspired Mozart. 


Gluck’s reforms were not lost on Mozart, who met the elder composer. Mozart was inspired by some 
scenes from Gluck’s operas and used elements from them in his own operas. Mozart composed both serious 
opera (opera seria) and comic opera (opera buffa). His best-known Italian operas, The Marriage of Figaro 
and Don Giovanni, are viewed as comic operas even though they mingle serious and comic characters. 
Mozart excelled in vividly portraying the nobility and members of the servant class. Far from being stock 
figures, the characters in his operas spring to life through his music and play out familiar human dramas. 

The Marriage of Figaro is based on a French play by Pierre-Augustin Beaumarchais. Beaumarchais’s 
play mocked the aristocracy, so the French monarch banned the play from Parisian stages. But it caught 
Mozart’s attention in Vienna, and he decided to turn it into an opera. In just six weeks, he produced a score 
of over 400 pages of music without knowing whether the censors would ever allow it to be performed. Like 
the French monarch, the Austrian emperor banned public productions of Beaumarchais’s play. However, the 
libretto prepared by Mozart’s collaborator Lorenzo da Ponte (1749-1838) softened Beaumarchais’s most 
controversial passages, and it reached the stage in Vienna in 1786. It is now regarded as one of the greatest 
operas of all time. 

Mozart built much of The Marriage of Figaro on solo arias and recitatives—the common ingredients of 
Italian opera—but he also used duets, trios, and larger ensembles. He carefully selected these formats to 
present contrasting views of the characters with telling effect. Each of the four acts of the opera builds in 
tension to a finale, where Mozart masterfully constructs ensembles that bring main characters on stage until 
it seems to overflow with singers. A forceful quickening of the tempo speeds the finales to dramatic 
conclusions. 

The opening scenes of the first act demonstrate how Mozart draws his characters. An energetic overture 
uses bustling string figures, animated wind interjections, and crescendo effects to create a sense of suspense 
and intrigue. In the first two scenes, we meet Figaro (bass) and Susanna (soprano), servants of the Count and 
Countess Almaviva, who hold court near Seville, Spain. Figaro and Susanna are to be married later that day, 
and the count has assigned them quarters next to his own rooms. Figaro is content with the arrangement, but 
Susanna fears that the count may be planning to seduce her while Figaro is away. When the countess 
summons Susanna with her bell, Figaro decides to outwit the count. 





A contemporary production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. 


This action takes place in the first two scenes, which are split into two duets and recitatives for Susanna 
and Figaro (Scene 1), and a recitative and a solo for Figaro (Scene 2): 


Scene 1 (Figaro and Susanna) Scene 2 (Figaro alone) 


Duet Recitative 
Recitative Cavatina 
Duet 

Recitative 


Mozart cleverly ties the two scenes together by using the French horns of the orchestra in multiple 
musical metaphors. Horn fanfares that symbolize the power of the nobility appear in the first duet. When 
they reappear in the second duet, they suggest the count’s bell that draws Figaro away from his wife, whom 
the count plans to seduce. And when they appear in Figaro’s cavatina (a short setting for voice and orchestra 
typically less complex than an aria), they suggest the horns of Figaro as the would-be cuckolded husband. 

In the recitative that follows Figaro and Susanna’s second duet, the orchestra drops out, leaving the 
harpsichord to accompany the singers. Through animated exchanges with Figaro, Susanna now explains that 
the count intends to revive an ancient custom that allows him to visit her the night before her wedding. She 
leaves to attend the countess, while Figaro, in a short recitative opening the second scene, devises his 
strategy. 


Video 32.1: “Se Vuol Ballare” from Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. In this energetic production of The Marriage of 
Figaro, filmed at the Paris National Opéra in 2010, Italian operatic bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni plays the role of Figaro. 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 


MOZART 
LE NOZZE DI FIGARO 


"SE VUOL BALLARE, SIGNOR CONTINO" 


Speed: 1x 





He will pretend to play the dutiful servant, but will trick the count into dancing to the servant’s tune. 
Considering how to do this, Figaro sings a cavatina, “Se vuol ballare.” This cavatina is divided into three 
parts, in the order ABA’ (Listening Map 30). In the A section, Figaro (alone on stage) imagines inviting the 
count to dance (_ @)). The horns present the enticing melody accompanied by strings playing pizzicato (by 
plucking rather than by using the bow). Mozart uses the pizzicato effect to represent Figaro’s onstage guitar. 
The A section has a moderately fast tempo, % meter, and perfectly balanced phrases. All these features 
suggest that most aristocratic of dances—the minuet. But in the B section, where Figaro describes setting a 
trap for the count, the tempo shifts to a rapid presto and less-refined dance in %meter( @). Here, Figaro 
sings in short, crisp phrases as he becomes angrier. Then, with the return of the A section, considerably 
shortened, we return to the world of the courtly minuet and of Figaro the servant. But a brisk coda in 
reminds us again of his intentions. “Se vuol ballare” is a masterpiece of characterization. 


>) LISTENING MAP 3 0) 


W.A. MOZART, The Marriage of Figaro, K. 492, Act I, Scene 2, Figaro, “Se 


vuol ballare” (“If you want to dance’) 
{1786} 


AUDIO: “Se vuol ballare” 


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Speed: 1x 


4 
Figaro and orchestra (two oboes, two bassoons, two French horns, and strings) 


Figaro’s charming cavatina alternates between two types of music that underscore class distinctions 
in the opera. At first, Figaro alludes to the courtly style of the minuet, associated with his rival, the 
count. Then, the music breaks into a popular dance, associated with the servant class, before 
resuming the leisured minuet. 





() why to LISTEN 


Mozart’s opera The Marriage of Figaro has long been a staple of major opera houses due to the excellence 
of Mozart’s music and Lorenzo da Ponte’s libretto. But under slightly different circumstances, the opera 
might not have reached the stage during Mozart’s lifetime. The Marriage of Figaro offers a social critique of 
class relations. The story of a servant outwitting his privileged master was not guaranteed to pass the censors 
in the years leading up to the French Revolution. The opera would almost certainly not have been performed 
in Paris, where the original French play had been banned. And even in Vienna, the enlightened monarch 
Joseph II banned the play, but allowed the opera to go forward. Mozart used music to push the boundaries of 
what was acceptable. He was able to explore ideas that would have been regarded as politically dangerous 
when presented without the music. The composer versus the censor: it is an age-old game that reminds us of 
the power of music. 


( ) first LISTEN 


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A Instructions 


e Click or tap onasection for immediate playback. Click or tap again on that section to pause; cl 


e Hover over the gray bar to cue to a specific time; click or tap to start playing from that spot. (Tt 





00:00 


tablets or mobile devices) 


01:34 


Q a deeper LISTEN 


TIME 
0:00 


SECTION 








TEXT 


Se vuol 
ballare 


signor 
Contino, 

il chitarrino 
le suonero. 


Se vuol 
venire, 


nella mia 
scuola, 

la capriola 
le insegnero. 
Sapro, ma 
piano 
meglio ogni 
arcano, 
dissimulando 
scoprir 
potro! 


02:03 


TRANSLATION 


If you want to 
dance, 

my little count, 
on my little guitar 
Pll accompany 
you. 


If you want to 
enroll 


in my school, 
capers 

Ill show you. 
Yes, I shall know, 
but carefully 

all these plots 

by stealth 

I’ll unveil more 
successfully! 


02:32 


LISTEN FOR THIS 


Minuet-like effect 


Instruments: Horns, pizzicato strings 
(representing Figaro’s guitar) 


Dynamics: 9 


TIME TEXT TRANSLATION LISTEN FOR THIS 


Allegretto 


Figaro invites the count to dance 
Q 


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Speed: 1x 


1:34 B (Presto [very fast], © Larte Disguising my Short, repeated phrases 
meter) schermendo, craft, Dynamics: crescendo to forte 
arte exploiting my 
adoprando, craft, 
di qua pinching here, 
pungendo, jesting there, 
di la all his 
scherzando, machinations 
tutte le I shall reverse. 
macchine 


rovesciero. 


TEXT 


Presto 


) Figaro sets a trap for the count 
Q 


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Speed: 1x 


2:03 Se vuol If you want to Shortened and reworked 


ballare, ... dance, ... 





Dynamics: 9 
2:32 Coda (Presto 9) Based on B 


Dynamics: forte 


32.5 Mozart and German Opera 


In Germany, a native operatic tradition was relatively slow to develop. Italian opera and French drama ruled German stages 
during much of the eighteenth century. One type of German opera did take hold, however: the Singspiel, a comic opera with 
tuneful solo numbers and spoken dialogue instead of recitative. In 1778 the Austrian emperor, Joseph II, established a 
national theater in Vienna to promote German opera. One of the emperor’s first commissions went to Mozart for a singspiel 
titled The Abduction from the Seraglio. It premiered in 1782 and was based on a then-fashionable Turkish subject. Around 
the same time, Mozart explored Turkish effects in his other music, most vividly in the celebrated Turkish Rondo from one of 
his piano sonatas. 

Mozart’s most famous singspiel was The Magic Flute, which premiered in Vienna just months before his death. The 
Magic Flute focuses on the moral education of Tamino, a young prince. In the first scene, three women dressed in black save 
him from a serpent and ask him to rescue Pamina, the daughter of the Queen of the Night. Accompanying Tamino on his 
mission is Papageno, a bird catcher, who gets a magic set of bells from the women in black. The women also offer Tamino a 
magic flute to protect him against dangers along the way. 

Tamino and Papageno reach the court of Sarastro, who is holding Pamina, only to discover that he is an enlightened man. 
As the opera continues, Tamino and Pamina are eventually united, the plotting Queen of the Night is defeated, and Tamino 
and Pamina are welcomed into Sarastro’s priestly temple. 

The Magic Flute is a Masonic allegory about the triumph of reason over superstition. Both the score and the libretto have 
many references to Masonic beliefs. The overture begins with three chords, representing the applicant knocking on the door 
of the Masonic temple for admission. Several parts of the opera are in keys associated with Masonic numerology. Finally, 
there is music for winds in several passages that suggest the wind bands used in Masonic rituals. All of these features 
inspired the poet Goethe, himself a Mason, to comment that only Masons could fully grasp Mozart’s opera. 

Mozart matched a broad range of styles with his characters. Papageno sings irresistibly charming melodies that resemble 
folk tunes. Tamino and Pamina, on the other hand, sing elegant music in a heightened style. On the most serious level is 
Sarastro’s music, which is noble and measured. 

Quite apart from these characters is the Queen of the Night, whose role is drawn from serious opera. Her most dramatic 
entrance comes in the final act when she arrives at Sarastro’s temple to foment a rebellion and incite Pamina to kill Sarastro 
(2). The Queen’s rising hatred erupts in a “rage aria” (Listening Map 31), with melodic lines broken by wide leaps and 
energized by driving rhythms (©). The strings accompany her melody with bristling repeated notes, underscoring the aria’s 
agitated style. 

In the Queen of the Night’s rage aria, Mozart makes extreme demands on the singer. In some passages, he pushes the 
soprano to the very limits of her high range. The form of the aria in three parts of unequal length is equally striking. The first 
section quickly modulates from the tonic to the second key. The second section acts as a transition to the return of the tonic. 
And the third, which re-establishes the tonic, is drastically restricted, as if to suggest the Queen being consumed by her own 
fury. This explosive music stands in striking contrast to the deliberate, reasoned tone of Sarastro’s music, which ultimately 
prevails. 


Q 
The starlit abode of the Queen of the Night. Stage design by Karl Schinkel for an 1815 production of The Magic Flute in Berlin. 


Q LISTENING MAP 3 I 


w.A. MOZART, The Magic Flute, K. 620, Act II, Scene 3, Queen of the Night, “Der 


Holle Rache” (“Vengeance of Hell’’) 
{1791} 


AUDIO: “Der Holle Rache” 


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Aria 





Queen of the Night (soprano) and orchestra (two flutes, two oboes, two bassoons, two French 
horns, two trumpets, two timpani, and strings) 


This celebrated “rage aria” contains music that pushes the stylistic limits of Mozart’s time. The 
virtuoso soprano part is extremely demanding and tests the extreme high range of the singer. And 
the accompanying orchestral music seethes with energy and drama. 





Q why to LISTEN 


If The Marriage of Figaro uses music to offer a critique of class society, The Magic Flute uses music in a different way, as 
allegory. This is a magical morality tale about good and evil. Here the force of good is symbolized by the enlightened 
Sarastro, who presides over a temple (a not-so-hidden reference to Freemasonry). In opposition, the force of evil is 
personified by the Queen of the Night. Between these extreme personifications of good and evil, the opera charts the moral 
progress of Prince Tamino and Pamina, who arrive at the temple and successfully find enlightenment. Throughout the opera, 
Mozart adapts his score to fit the needs of the allegory. Careful listeners can grasp a rich musical symbolism that supports 
this timeless tale of good and evil. 


Q first LISTEN 


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Q a deeper LISTEN 








TIME NYO BLOM TRANSLATION 
PART 1 
0:00 
0:03 Der Holle Rache kocht in Vengeance of hell is roused in my 
meinem Herzen heart, 
Tod und Verzweiflung flammet Death and despair burn all around 
um mich her! me! 
Fiihit nicht durch dich Sarastro _ If Sarastro does not feel the pains 
Todesschmerzen, of death at your hand, 
so bist du meine Tochter Then you are no longer my 
nimmermehr daughter. 
Allegro assai 
Q Wide leaps 
Q 
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content. ] 
{ Solo reaches into a very high register 
Q 
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content. ] 
1:11 
PART 2 
1:19 Transition, modulating from second _Verstossen sei auf ewig, Be outcast forever, be abandoned 
key back to the tonic verlassen sei auf ewig, forever, 
Zertriimmert sei’n auf ewig All bonds of nature destroyed 
alle Bande der Natur, forever, 
Wenn nicht durch dich Sarastro Vf Sarastro is not destroyed by you! 
wird erblassen! 
2:13 Music comes to a dramatic pause 


PART 3 


TIME SECTION TEXT TRANSLATION 
PART 1 


2:16 WSamaiOamiylniteasamnmitas Hort! Rachegotter! Hear me, gods of vengeance! 
tonic Hort der Mutter Schwur! Hear a mother’s oath! 





32.6 Mozart’s Legacy 


Later generations continued to assess the magnitude of Mozart’s genius. He is remembered as a great keyboard virtuoso and 
a prodigious composer of astonishing skill. His music is filled with melodies of unequaled beauty, and it is truly 
international in scope, bringing together a variety of styles and genres. With masterpieces in nearly every genre, his body of 
work assured the rise of German music into the nineteenth century. No one benefited more from Mozart’s music than did 
Beethoven, the greatest piano virtuoso of his age. 


check your KNOWLEDGE 32 


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32.1 
32.2 
32.3 
32.4 


Q 
Chapter 32 Quiz 


CHAPTER 


33 


Ludwig van Beethoven 


Few composers changed music as decisively as Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827). His powerful scores, filled with strong 
dissonances but also heartfelt melodies, mapped the depths of human emotions and mirrored the fast-changing times in 
which he lived. Heir of Haydn’s and Mozart’s musical legacies, Beethoven exhausted and broke away from their high 
Classical style. He went on to define a new heroic style and influenced nearly every major composer who followed him. 





Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827). 


Beethoven’s music cast long shadows over the next several generations of composers. His symphonies set new models 
for the genre. Many composers were awed by his achievement and labored to create symphonies that might live up to his 
legacy. Even the number of symphonies he composed—nine—became a goal, with several composers attempting to exceed 
the legendary number. Composers also took inspiration for their own chamber music from Beethoven’s sixteen string 
quartets. Finally, generations of pianists matched their skill against Beethoven’s challenging thirty-two piano sonatas. 

Beethoven’s career spans three stylistic periods: 


1) his early period, which lasted up to 1802; 

2) his middle period, between 1803 and 1814; and 

3) his late period, between 1815 and 1827. 

These periods roughly coincide with 

1) Beethoven’s youth in Bonn and early years in Vienna; 

2) the continuing, devastating loss of his hearing; and 

3) his last years, in which he composed from total deafness. 


In terms of European history, the three periods correspond roughly to: 


1) the waning of the Enlightenment and outbreak of the French Revolution; 


2) the rise of Napoleon after the French Revolution and his final defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815; and 
3) the Restoration after Napoleon, a conservative and reactionary period in Europe, ushered in by the Congress of 


Vienna in 1815. 


Beethoven began his career by emulating the Classical style Mozart and Haydn had perfected during the 1780s and 
1790s. But, by the time of Beethoven’s death, his music had moved beyond Classicism and was exploring Romantic ideals 
(see Part VI). 

Beethoven’s strong personality and eccentricities contributed greatly to his mystique as a suffering Romantic artist. He 
was a social recluse who was tormented by the great tragedy of his life, his deafness. Audiences still hear a forthright record 
of his life’s struggles in his music. And his compositions can be understood as a compelling musical autobiography that won 
a new artistic independence for musicians who followed him. 


33.1 Beethoven’s Early Period 


Beethoven was born in 1770 in Bonn, then part of a German territory loyal to the Austrian emperor. As a boy, he displayed 
uncommon musical gifts, leading some to compare him to Mozart. Still, Beethoven’s childhood was miserable. His father, a 
pianist and singer, drank heavily and forced Beethoven to practice the piano for hours on end. Despite these rough 
beginnings, by 1784 Beethoven was serving at court as an organist, and later joined the court orchestra as a violist. 
Beethoven’s early compositions were of uneven quality, although at age twenty he wrote an impressive funeral cantata in 
memory of Joseph II, the Austrian emperor (Holy Roman Emperor from 1765 to 1790). 

In 1792 Beethoven moved to Vienna, where he may have met Mozart during an earlier visit. Now, nearly a year after 
Mozart’s death, Beethoven began studying composition with Haydn. The teacher-student relationship was problematic, 
lasting only about a year. During his time in Vienna, Beethoven appeared as a virtuoso pianist in aristocratic salons, where 
his performances inspired memories of Mozart. Beethoven also began to compose large works using the Classical genres, 
including several piano sonatas, two piano concertos, an ambitious set of string quartets, and his first symphony. These 
works owe much to Haydn and Mozart, but we hear unmistakable signs of Beethoven’s emerging style within them: severe 
and frequent contrasts in dynamics; disruptive syncopated rhythms; and a relentless, driving energy. 

One of Beethoven’s best-known works from his early period, the “Moonlight” Sonata (1801), anticipated the music of 
his middle period. Beethoven once dismissed the work as unimportant. However, this sonata is remarkable because it breaks 
free from established models. In the work, Beethoven seemed to be deliberately reaching beyond the limits of the Classical 
sonata. In earlier sonatas, Beethoven had favored the typical Classical plans of three or four movements: fast—slow-—fast, 
or fast-slow—minuet-fast. But after the turn to the nineteenth century, he grew more daring, treating each new sonata as an 
opportunity for experimentation. 





Video 33.1: Improvisation and Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata. Classical musicians of the past would often improvise, or go beyond the 
written score when performing. In this video, Larry Todd discusses the role of improvisation in Beethoven’s famous “Moonlight” Sonata. 


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The “Moonlight” Sonata has three movements, marked Very Slow and Sustained (Adagio sostenuto), Relatively Fast 
(Allegretto), and Very Fast and Agitated (Presto agitato). Of the three, the first movement is the freest in form and played 
very softly throughout. The Allegretto, composed in a major key, functions as an interlude between the pensive Adagio 
sostenuto and explosive Presto agitato. The third movement, in the same minor key as the first, is composed in sonata form. 
Agitated in character, the third movement erupts with rapidly sweeping, ascending melodies. The movement features a much 
broader dynamic range than the first two: from a hushed pianissimo to an energetic fortissimo. 

Falling into several phrases, the melody transports us away from the sonata’s starting point in the tonic key. Then we 
hear the restless triplets of the accompaniment played over a pedal point in the bass. Beethoven is preparing us for the return 
of the tonic key and the reappearance of the melody’s beginning. A coda rounds out the movement, with a hint of the 
melody now submerged in the low register of the piano. Overall, the form of the movement is 4—Transition—A’. As the 
listening chart shows, these sections are framed by the introduction and coda. 

Beethoven instructed that the movement be played delicately and senza sordini, with the piano’s dampers raised. The 
dampers are strips of felt that rest on the strings. When a pianist depresses a key, a small hammer strikes the strings for that 
key. Once the key is lifted, the damper stops the strings from sounding. The damper pedal disables the dampers so that the 
strings continue to ring even after their keys are lifted. On the modern piano, depressing the pedal can create a muddy, 
blended sound as more notes are played. But when used on the more delicate fortepiano of Beethoven’s time, the effect can 
be captivating. 

The first movement of the sonata (Listening Map 32) opens with brooding triplets played in the middle register of the 
piano, accompanied by a quietly descending bass line written in octaves (_ @). Above the triplets, Beethoven presents an 
unfinished-sounding melody that hovers around a single repeated pitch( @). 


>) LISTENING MAP 3 Z 


LUDWIG Van BEETHOVEN, Piano Sonata in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 27 No. 2 (“Moonlight”), 


First Movement (Adagio sostenuto) 
{1801} 


AUDIO: “Moonlight” Sonata, First Movement 


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Free sonata form 


3 


The “Moonlight” Sonata is named after the subdued dynamic range and blurry sonorities of its first 
movement. The music suggests a free application of sonata form, which is why Beethoven likened 
it to a fantasy. 





) why to LISTEN 


Why is the “Moonlight” Sonata one of Beethoven’s most famous compositions? Part of it has to do with the allure of the 
title, which describes the extraordinary first movement. This is, according to popular imagination, nocturnal music with a 
mysterious, dreamlike quality. The truth is, though, that Beethoven never used that title, instead providing the subtitle “like a 
fantasy.” Though not as picturesque as “Moonlight,” his description emphasizes that the piece enjoys a freedom of form 
even though it is part of a sonata. We can easily imagine Beethoven improvising the opening bars of the first movement and 
then letting the music wander, without concerning himself too much about formalistic restrictions. The “Moonlight” Sonata 
captures the shifting relationship between artistic freedom and structure in a compelling, meaningful way. 


( ) first LISTEN 


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(—-) 4 deeper LISTEN 










TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 


0:00 Adagio sostenuto 


performed most delicately and with the dampers raised 


@ Triplets against octaves in the bass; tonic key 
/ a ae ae eee ee et ee oe ee 


—_ a2 

o eee 7 ee ee 
ae 
et 

Lal 






ae et ee 
GGG GS 6 ee a SS eee 
sr omer ia 





iia 25D = 
er ro 
| al 


sempre pp e senza sordini 


So wa 


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0:21 


Tonic, then touching on other keys 
@) Melodic phrases enter 





2:21 
3:04 


Ascending, then descending triplets over a pedal point 
Return of melody and triplet accompaniment; return of tonic 


4:26 Coda Triplet accompaniment with vestiges of melody in the bass; tonic 


33.2 Beethoven’s Middle Period 


MAKING CONNECTIONS Beethoven and Haydn 


Most of Beethoven’s personal relationships became strained at some point, and his relationship with Haydn was no 
exception. The two had very different temperaments. Haydn, who was used to dressing in formal eighteenth-century 
clothing, had excelled as a court musician. Beethoven, who dressed shabbily and had never taken an official court 
position, was strongly independent. Beethoven would go as far as to criticize the Viennese nobility, even though, 
ironically, he was dependent on their patronage. 

Beethoven studied counterpoint with Haydn for about a year in Vienna, between Haydn’s two journeys to London, 
but found his teaching old-fashioned and rejected some of the advice Haydn offered. Beethoven dedicated 
compositions to Haydn but refused to acknowledge him as a teacher. And, later in life, when Beethoven was asked who 
his favorite composer was, he passed over both Haydn and Mozart and chose the Baroque composer Handel. 





Early in the nineteenth century Beethoven announced his intention to seek a “new manner” in his music. Despite the 
innovations of works such as the “Moonlight” Sonata, he may have felt he relied too much on the musical style of Haydn 
and Mozart in his early music. In his middle period, he began experimenting freely and in the process found his own voice. 

Another issue influenced his new manner: during his late twenties Beethoven had begun losing his hearing. The 
deterioration was gradual, and as late as 1815, he was still attempting to perform in public. The psychological consequences 
of his hearing loss, however, were overwhelming. He despaired over the failure of the one sense in which, as he put it, he 
should have been whole. He contemplated suicide, but he ultimately decided to live for his art and entered his most 
productive period. 

He quickly composed a bold new series of instrumental works with strikingly dramatic, heroic characters. Among these 
works are many of his most famous instrumental compositions, including the Cello Sonata in A major, Op. 69 (1808). Its 
four movements offer (1) an opening with a cello solo before the piano enters; (2) a madcap scherzo with accents off the 
beat; (3) a short, lyrical slow movement; and (4) a climactic finale. Here Beethoven sets up a conflict between the singing 
qualities of the cello and piano and their ability to create percussive, persistent rhythmic effects by simply repeating single 
pitches. 


Video 33.2: Beethoven’s Cello Sonata in A Major. Larry Todd discusses how Beethoven created drama in his music, from the opening of 
his Fifth Symphony to his third Cello Sonata, and performs the last two movements of the sonata with the cellist Nancy Green. 


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Beethoven also explored his dynamic “new manner” on the broader canvas of the symphony. Between 1803 and 1808, 
he concentrated his symphonic innovations in three monumental compositions: the “Eroica” (Heroic) Symphony (No. 3), the 
Fifth Symphony, and the “Pastoral” Symphony (No. 6). In these works, Beethoven moved past the limits of the Classical 
symphony and produced music on an unprecedentedly grand scale. His four major innovations were: 


1) expanding movements to a length well beyond those of Haydn and Mozart’s symphonies, 

2) building up the orchestra by adding woodwind and brass instruments, 

3) designing symphonies to express a story or message beyond the music, and 

4) linking certain movements so that they were performed without the traditional break between them. 


Beethoven began experimenting with these innovations in the Third Symphony, which he dedicated at first to Napoleon 
Bonaparte. Beethoven saw Napoleon as a hero who had championed the common people and promoted the ideals of liberty 
and equality. But when Napoleon declared himself Emperor of France in 1804, Beethoven scratched out the dedication on 
his score and renamed the Third Symphony the “Eroica.” 


MAKING ConNECTIONS Napoleon as Romantic Figure 





The remarkable rise of Napoleon (1769-1821) from obscurity to major world leader as the self-proclaimed emperor of 
France is one of the incredible stories of the nineteenth century. He was born on the island of Corsica and rose through 
the ranks of the French military. When he first came to power after the French Revolution in the late 1790s, he 


supported the idea of a French Republic. However, by 1804 he had become an emperor just as despotic as the absolute 
monarchies he overthrew. So, why was Beethoven originally prepared to dedicate his Third Symphony to Napoleon? 





Jacques-Louis David, Napoleon Crossing the Alps (1801). 


While Beethoven was writing his Third Symphony in 1803, Austria was officially at peace with France, and he was 
thinking of moving to Paris to advance his career. He was also attracted to France because, like many liberal thinkers of 
the time, he was caught up by the romanticized image of Napoleon. Many saw Napoleon as a commoner who had risen 
from modest origins to greatness through self-reliance and individual achievement. The image of the French leader as a 
Romantic hero took many forms, from painting to literature and music. But after Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo in 
1815, his fall was swift and definitive. The English poet Byron, who had identified with the idea of Napoleonic 
greatness, wrote these lines of jaded disappointment in his Ode to Napoleon Bonaparte: 


Tis done—but yesterday a King!/ And armed with Kings to strive—/ And now thou art a nameless thing:/ So 
abject—yet alive!’ 


A century and more later, the Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg set these lines in his Ode to Napoleon Bonaparte, 
understood in 1942 to allude to the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. 


The “Eroica” Symphony is marked by nearly constant conflict and contrast, heightening its heroic character. The long 
and intense first movement features dissonant harmonies and clashing rhythms. The second movement is a solemn funeral 
march, while the third movement, in sharp contrast, is a joyful fast-paced scherzo. The complex fourth movement is the 
crowning conclusion to the symphony. Beethoven drew the theme of this movement from his ballet The Creatures of 
Prometheus, which celebrates the heroic deeds of the Greek mythological figure who brought fire and civilization to 
mankind. The symphony begins in a world of tragedy that culminates in the funeral march, a symbolic “death of a hero.” It 
then moves on to the world of comedy in the scherzo and enlightenment in the triumphant finale. 


33.3 Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony in C Minor 


The mighty Fifth Symphony—perhaps Beethoven’s best-known composition—is similar in mood to the “Eroica.” It depicts 
a musical struggle that eventually resolves in a victorious finale. The symphony begins with a first theme constructed from a 
famous four-note motive, a burst of three short notes followed by a held note that brings the music to a halt: 


Allegro con brio 





Figure Animations: Opening Notes of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony in C Minor 


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This basic short-short-short-long motive introduces a musical contradiction that is at work throughout the symphony. 
The three rapid notes propel the music forward, only to come to an abrupt halt on the fourth note. The dynamic forward 
energy is thus opposed by an unexpected pause, a pattern that plays out again and again in all four movements. Different 
conductors will interpret these opening notes in different ways (Listening Map 33). 


Video 33.3: Introducing Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Among the most famous of all classical works, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony has 
been performed innumerable times since its premiere in December 1808. In this video, Larry Todd and conductor Harry Davidson discuss the 
significance of the piece and its famous opening notes, with extensive excerpts performed by the Duke Symphony Orchestra. 


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We may wonder how a mere four notes command such power. The opening motive’s powerful effect is accomplished in 
three ways: 


1) The fermata (©) on the fourth note interrupts the energetic attack of the first three notes. We cannot be certain 
about the direction the rhythm will take. 

2) The fermata holds the fourth note for longer than its usual value, making it hard to sense the beat pattern. 

3) The orchestra plays the motive in unison. Without any clue from the harmony, the tonic key is a mystery. 





MAKING CONNECTIONS Finding Meaning in Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony 


The idea of “Fate knocking at the door” at the beginning of the Fifth Symphony is one of the most enduring legends 
about Beethoven’s music, but the question remains: did it originate from the composer himself? The only source we 
have indicating it was Beethoven’s idea is the recollections of the composer’s secretary and biographer, Anton 
Schindler. But Schindler is remembered as an unreliable witness, and his claim may not be true. 

The truth has never really mattered to audiences. So compelling, forceful, and unprecedented was Beethoven’s Fifth 
that people soon agreed: the symphony had to be about something more than just the notes on the page. The idea of a 
struggle resulting in a victorious celebration was evident in the music itself. Fate knocking at the door seemed a 
reasonable way to describe the opening. The story took hold and has remained a fixture in the popular reception of the 
composer. 





Beethoven’s student Carl Czerny maintained that the Fifth Symphony owed a debt to the song of the yellowhammer. 


But to complicate matters, we also have a different account from one of Beethoven’s students, Carl Czerny. Czerny 
maintained that the famous opening of the symphony came from the birdsong of the yellowhammer, which the 
composer had heard during his walks in the countryside around Vienna. Sure enough, the yellowhammer call has 
several repeated pitches that occasionally drop down. But somehow the yellowhammer didn’t quite measure up to the 
knocking of Fate in the popular imagination, and Czerny’s story soon was forgotten. 

Yet another way to find meaning in Beethoven’s symphony emerged in 1941 in a context Beethoven would never 
have foreseen. During the Second World War, the Allies started using the letter v to stand for the ultimate victory over 
the Nazis. In Morse code, v is represented by dot-dot-dot-dash, which is identical to short-short-short-long rhythm of 
the symphony’s four-note motive. Soon radio broadcasts were featuring the opening of the symphony as a coded way of 
strengthening the Allies’ resolve to win. More than 100 years after it was written, Beethoven’s music was enlisted in 
the Allied cause, showing the endurance of his music and the continuing need to find meaning within it. 


We have little reliable evidence about Beethoven’s intended meaning in the Fifth Symphony, but that has not stopped 
generations of critics and music lovers from seeing the work as a narrative of triumph over adversity. According to one 
interpretation, Beethoven meant the opening short-short-short-long motive to represent Fate knocking at the door, perhaps as 
a reference to his devastating hearing loss. A few years before composing the symphony Beethoven had written that he 
would “seize Fate by the throat; it shall not bend or crush me completely.” Indeed, if anything, the first movement seems to 
depict a struggle with the famous motive. More generally, the writer and composer E. T. A. Hoffmann proclaimed the 
symphony as a powerful example of Romantic music. Hoffmann described the score as “frightening,” “mysterious,” and 
“sinister,” adjectives that suggested just how far Beethoven had moved from the refined Classical style of Haydn and 
Mozart. 


>) LISTENING MAP 3 3 


LUDWIG Van BEETHOVEN, Symphony No. 5 in C minor, First Movement (Allegro con 
brio) 
{1808} 


AUDIO: Symphony No. 5, First Movement 


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Full orchestra (two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, two French horns, two trumpets, 
two timpani, and strings; in the last movement Beethoven adds piccolo, contrabassoon, and three 
trombones) 


Four notes (short-short-short-long, with a pause) are all that Beethoven needed to build an entire 
symphonic movement in sonata form. The two themes of the exposition use the telltale rhythm, and 
nearly every measure of the movement conveys its restless energy. 





()» why to LISTEN 


It is nearly impossible not to listen to the Fifth Symphony because it so often appears in popular culture. Even if you have 
never heard all four movements of the Fifth, you have more than likely heard the famous first four notes that provide the 
basis for the entire composition. Soon after its first performance, the music took on an iconic significance that has lasted 
some two hundred years. And there are no signs that the power of this music will fade any time soon. Whether you embrace 
the well-worn idea that the opening represents Fate knocking at the door, this masterpiece seems to communicate 


Beethoven’s personal struggle to overcome adversity. That is a human narrative to which many can relate. 


( ) first LISTEN 


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(-) «deeper LISTEN 


TIME 
0:00 


0:06 


0:41 


0:44 
0:52 
1:11 


1:20 
2:40 


3:26 


3:47 
4:00 


4:16 


4:28 
4:48 
5:30 


5:46 


SECTION 








Coda 


LISTEN FOR THIS 


First Theme (Tonic minor key) 

Four-note motive (short-short-short-long) ending in a pause (__@\) and immediately 
repeated one step lower with another pause 

Bridge 

Several more repetitions of motive, leading to more pauses and repetitions of motive 
Brief modulation 


Second Theme (second key) 
Motive expanded to six notes (short-short-short-long-long-long) in the French horn 





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Lyrical extension of second theme, with four-note motive as accompaniment in the bass 
Music builds in intensity 


Closing 
Cascading repetitions of four-note motive in winds; chords, rests 


(EXPOSITION REPEATED) 


Four-note motive (short-short-short-long) in horns and pause; several statements of motive, 
modulating, building in intensity 


Rupture of motive into paired chords, then individual chords exchanged between winds and 
strings with diminuendo from yf to PP 


Four-note motive suddenly reemerges, ff 


First Theme (tonic minor) 
Four-note motive and pause, repeated, with pause; music resumes then 


Brief oboe cadenza 
om 


a 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 
Transition 
Second Theme (tonic major) 


Closing 
Expected ending in tonic major is diverted 


Return to tonic minor with frequent pounding repetitions of four-note motive 


5:57 New closing figure with exchanges between winds and strings 









of of 
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6:28 Two statements of opening motive with two pauses 
6:36 Sudden drop from ff to PP, interrupted by final bars, ending with eleven chords 


After the dramatic first movement, the symphony continues with a slow variation movement based on a graceful theme 
in a major key (Listening Map 34). In contrast to the brisk duple meter of the first movement, the Andante moves in a 
gentle triple meter. 


Video 33.4: Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, Second Movement. In the second movement of Beethoven’s Fifth, the composer develops a 
contrasting, graceful theme in a major key, played in a gentle rhythm. He then contrasts this theme again with a dramatic “call to arms” in the 
trumpets, mirroring the familiar opening rhythm but now in a triple meter. Larry Todd and Harry Davidson discuss how Beethoven develops 
the lyrical theme in a number of ways through the movement, using different orchestral voices. 


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>) LISTENING MAP 3 4 


LUDWIG Van BEETHOVEN, Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Second Movement (Andante 


con moto) 
{1808} 


AUDIO: Symphony No. 5, Second Movement 


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Theme and variations 


Triple 


Full orchestra as before 


Beethoven crafted the slow movement of his symphony as a lyrical theme with four variations and 
a coda. Separating the variations is a ceremonial passage with brass fanfares. These revive—in 
slightly altered form—the original four-note motive of the first movement. 





( ) first LISTEN 


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(—-) 4 deeper LISTEN 


TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 















A: Theme in violas and cellos, then flute, and finally violins; first key 


es - 
—_ = 7 a Bee 2 a a a i4@i aos Oe 
—— = 


_ ae 

a ae eS ee 

a a a a a a 
a — = 










[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 


TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 











1:10 B: Short-short-short-long motive, swerves from first key to C major with fanfare-like 
statement in trumpets and horns 
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1:26 Transition with diminuendo leading back to first key 
1:50 A: Theme ornamented with slightly faster notes (first key) 
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2:57 B: Fanfare-like motive in trumpets and horns (C major) 
3:13 Transition leading back to first key 
3:39 A: Theme ornamented with even faster notes (first key) 
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4:47 Pause; transition featuring woodwinds 
5:27 B: Fanfare-like motive in trumpets and horns (C major) 
6:09 A: Theme in woodwinds in minor key 
6:48 A: Theme in violins imitated by woodwinds 
7:33 Coda Slightly faster tempo, then original Andante con moto tempo 


Beethoven usually labeled the third movement of his symphonies a minuet or scherzo. But in the Fifth Symphony he 
provided just the tempo marking, A//egro (Listening Map 35). Nothing in this movement suggests the courtly world of the 
minuet. 


>) LISTENING MAP 3 5 


LUDWIG Van BEETHOVEN, Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Third Movement (Allegro) 
{1808} 


AUDIO: Symphony No. 5, Third Movement 


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Full orchestra as before 


In the third movement, the four-note motive returns in yet another guise, to introduce 
a fortissimotheme in the French horns. Contrasting with its heavy-handedness is the comical nature 
of the middle section, the trio, which enters as a playful fugato (small-scale fugue). 





( ) first LISTEN 


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€-) 4 deeper LISTEN 
























TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 
0:00 Introductory pp theme in cellos and basses, answered by violins, with two 
pauses 
Cellos and Violins 
Basses 
pp j poco ritardando 
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0:18 French horn theme ( il ) based on four-note me a motive 
a 
[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 
0:36 Introductory pp theme with pauses and crescendo to 
0:56 French horn theme ( f°) 
1:13 Introductory pp theme extended, this time without pauses 
1:38 Full orchestra ends with horn theme(  f) 
1:44 New theme in strings: mock fugato (___#) with four entries in the cellos and 
basses, then violas, second violins, and first violins 
SS ee 
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1:58 Repeat of first section 
2:14 Fugato continues with second section( /f) 
2:42 Repeat of second section written out, beginning jf butthenmovingto Pp 
and Ppp 
3:13 Return of introductory pp theme in cellos and basses with two pauses 
3:30 Pizzicato (plucked) violins now take over the former French horn theme, pp 
4:21 Transition to Finale Strings hold the tonic pitch while the timpani play the four-note motive 
4:41 Motive collapses into individual timpani strokes while the violins hint at the 
introductory PP theme 
4:54 Rapid crescendo, leading to the finale 





Beethoven’s linking of the third and fourth movements is one of the most striking features of the Fifth Symphony. This 
simple but forceful device shatters the mold of the Classical symphony. The suspenseful transition from C minor to C major 
underscores how he viewed the movements of his symphony as interconnected parts of a whole. He prepares for the 
triumphant finale in C major by introducing passages in C major in the slow movement and in the trio of the third 
movement. 

To give the finale extra weight, Beethoven reinforces the orchestra by adding three trombones, a piccolo (a small flute 
that plays in a very high range), and a contrabassoon (a bassoon that plays in an especially low range). While the trombones 
strengthen the brass section and add a solemn tone, the piccolo and contrabassoon extend the high and low ranges of the 
orchestra. The addition of these instruments to the orchestra as the symphony turns from C minor to C major gives the sound 
a pronounced muscular quality. 

Cast in sonata form, the finale reflects Beethoven’s heroic style at its most magnificent (Listening Map 36). 


Video 33.4: Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, Third and Fourth Movements. Larry Todd and Harry Davidson explore Beethoven’s 
innovative, seamless connection between the third and fourth movements of his Fifth Symphony. They also discuss his use of new orchestral 
instruments, including the trombone and piccolo. 


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How to end this colossal movement was Beethoven’s ultimate challenge. He overcame it by writing a stirring coda that 
concludes not just the movement but the entire symphony. This coda frustrates our search for closure several times. One 
after another, final-sounding C-major chords are played as if the piece were ending, only to delay the final notes. Finally, the 
ending comes after an unrelenting pounding away at the tonic harmony. The ending resolves all of the dissonance and 
tension of the entire symphony in one of the most thrilling moments in music. 


>) LISTENING MAP 3 6 


LUDWIG Van BEETHOVEN, Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Fourth Movement (Allegro) 
{1808} 


AUDIO: Symphony No. 5, Fourth Movement 


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Sonata form 
Commontime, 


Full orchestra with added piccolo, contrabassoon, and three trombones 
For the finale, Beethoven devised a dramatic sonata-form movement that concludes the entire work. 
The finale also revisits elements of the earlier movements in innovative ways. 

( ) first LISTEN 


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(-) 4 deeper LISTEN 


TIME Nf 8 BOD LISTEN FOR THIS 


0:00 


First theme: march-like, gf, C major 
Allegro 





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0:36 Bridge, modulating to second key 
1:03 Second theme, second key, short-short-short-long motive 
Violins 3 
e § tel 
Df 3 3 Pp 3 3 crescendo 
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1:31 Closing passage, second key 
2:03 
4:14 Development of second theme, modulating through several keys 





5:42 
5:53 


6:15 
6:51 
E22, 
7:51 
8:02 
9:46 
10:10 
10:38 





Grand pause as if preparing for recapitulation 
Recall of music from scherzo, minor key, PP 
Dramatic crescendo 

First theme, tonic key 

Bridge 

Second theme, tonic key 

Closing passage, tonic key 

Several sections that fail to reach the final cadence 
Tempo accelerates through a transition to Presto 
Final statement of first theme 


Final pounding away at the tonic harmony 


33.4 Beethoven’s Late Period 


By 1814 Napoleon’s France had fallen to a coalition of England, Prussia, Austria, and Russia. The victorious allies 
organized the Congress of Vienna to redraw the map of Europe in what was perhaps the first true international summit. 
During the Congress of Vienna, Beethoven composed patriotic pieces to celebrate the Allies’ victories, but his music now 
seemed to lack the dramatic power of the middle-period music, and these pieces were promptly forgotten. Almost 
completely deaf, he withdrew more and more from public life. A contemporary publication called The 
Harmonicon described the sadness of Beethoven’s situation: “His extreme reserve towards strangers, which is carried to 
such excess ... prevents him from displaying those excellent qualities, which, under a forbidding exterior, he is known to 
possess.” He communicated with visitors by receiving written notes and then answering them verbally. Increasingly, the 
music of this period grew abstract and difficult for Beethoven’s contemporaries to understand. 

The first few years of the late period were surprisingly unproductive. Then, during 1823 and 1824, Beethoven finished 
two major works that had occupied him for years. The first, the Missa Solemnis (1823), was a majestic setting of the Mass 
on a large scale. Beethoven intended the work for one of his royal patrons and students, the Archduke Rudolph, to honor the 
archduke’s 1819 appointment as Archbishop of Olmitz. Beethoven was unable to finish the Mass in time for the ceremony, 
however, and its completion required several more years of work. The second major work completed during this time was 
his Ninth Symphony (1824). 





Sketch of Beethoven’s study in Vienna. 


The revolutionary Ninth Symphony presented a fundamentally new idea of the symphony and deeply influenced 
symphonic composition well into the twentieth century. Following the symphony’s first three movements for orchestra was 
an enormous finale, inspired by Friedrich von Schiller’s ode to universal brotherhood, the “Ode to Joy” (An die Freude). 
Beethoven’s finale is nearly one thousand measures in length and takes more time to perform than some entire symphonies 
of Haydn or Mozart. The work also stands out because it was the first time vocal soloists and a chorus were used in a 
symphony. Despite its imposing complexity, the finale of the Ninth Symphony essentially unfolds as a series of variations on 
a simple melody: the “Ode to Joy.” The melody transcended national barriers to become a melody known throughout the 
world. In 1989, the “Ode to Joy” gained additional meaning as an “Ode to Freedom” when Leonard Bernstein performed the 
symphony in Berlin after the Berlin Wall was opened and being torn down. 

In his very last years, Beethoven wrote a series of six string quartets. By that time, he was fully dependent on his inner 
ear and memory of sound. In a sense, he was composing for himself rather than for others. The quartets reveal the primary 
qualities of Beethoven’s late style: complex counterpoint, melodies of great lyrical beauty, and startling contrasts. Though 


these forward-looking works were misunderstood and initially rejected by many critics, they were warmly embraced by the 
generation of Romantic composers who followed him. 


33.5 Beethoven’s Death and Funeral 


One might expect the composer of so much dramatic music to make a dramatic exit from this world. 
According to the accounts of his death, Beethoven did not disappoint. Shortly before he died on March 26, 
1827, he was reported to have said in Latin, “Applaud, friends, the comedy is finished” before dying in the 
midst of a raging thunderstorm. An autopsy was performed, but the cause of death was not clear. Several 
possibilities have been advanced, including lead poisoning, liver disease brought on by alcoholism, and 
kidney failure, to list just a few. 

Although Beethoven lived a reclusive life in his last years, tens of thousands of Viennese turned out for 
his funeral, which was held on a scale usually reserved for the nobility. Among the pallbearers were several 
musicians, including the young composer Schubert, who would die within a year at the Mozartean age of 
thirty-one. The Austrian poet and playwright Franz Grillparzer delivered a eulogy not just for Beethoven but 
for the passing of an age as well. “The heir and successor of Handel’s and Bach’s, of Haydn’s and Mozart’s 
immortal fame,” he wrote, “has ended his life, and we stand weeping beside the tattered strings of the silent 
instrument.” 





Beethoven’s funeral procession, as painted by Franz Stoeber (1827). Tens of thousands were in attendance. 


33.6 Beethoven’s Legacy 


Beethoven was the crucial link between eighteenth-century Classicism and nineteenth-century Romanticism. He began by 
thoroughly understanding and mastering the Classical idioms of Haydn and Mozart, yet he soon transcended those idioms. 
For the composers who followed him, Beethoven’s music took on a highly romanticized, mythical stature. He was viewed as 
a titan who created in solitude. In Beethoven’s scores, the Romantics found a new expressive power and a statement of his 
unbending commitment to art. Understandably, they could not resist claiming Beethoven as one of their own. 


check your KNOWLEDGE 33 


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33.1 
33.2 
33.3 
33.4 


Q 
Chapter 33 Quiz 


PART V SUMMARY: THE CLASSICAL PERIOD 


¢ The Classical period witnessed a reaction against the complexities of Baroque music. 


* Broadly international in scope, Classical music culminated in the work of three composers active in Vienna: 
Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Ludwig van Beethoven. 


¢ The Classical style favored melodies that divided into balanced phrases. It employed rhythmic variety and used new 
effects in dynamics, such as the crescendo and diminuendo. 


¢ New genres included the symphony (for orchestra), string quartet (for two violins, one viola, and one cello), and 
Classical sonata (usually for one or two instruments, including a piano). 


° Each genre consisted of separate movements, usually in the sequence of fast-slow-very fast or fast—slow— 
minuet and trio—very fast. 


* Classical composers used different forms within the movements of their instrumental works, including Classical 
sonata form, theme and variations, minuet and trio, and rondo. 


¢ Joseph Haydn was the first great figure of Viennese Classicism. 
* A prolific composer who wrote in every genre of the time, Haydn produced over a thousand compositions. 


* Among his principal contributions are his long series of symphonies for orchestra and his string quartets for two 
violins, viola, and cello. 


¢ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was the second great figure of Viennese Classicism. 


* Acchild prodigy and virtuoso pianist, Mozart composed in every genre of the time to produce over 600 
compositions during his short career. 


* Among his contributions are symphonies, chamber music, piano concertos and piano music, Italian and German 
operas, and sacred music. 


¢ The music of Ludwig van Beethoven linked the eighteenth-century classicism of Haydn and Mozart to nineteenth- 
century Romanticism. 


* Beethoven’s career unfolded in Vienna, where he established himself as a piano virtuoso worthy of Mozart and 
as the dominant composer of the time. 


¢ Beethoven’s compositions are usually divided into three periods: 
* An early period, when he mastered the Classical style of Haydn and Mozart. 
* A middle period, when he wrote most of his revolutionary, heroic music. 
* A late period, when, imprisoned by total deafness, he created increasingly abstract, experimental music. 


KEY TERMS 


bridge 

cadenza 
cavatina 
closing passage 
coda 
crescendo 
decrescendo (diminuendo) 
development 
episode 
exposition 
fanfare 
fortepiano 
fugato 

minuet and trio 
modulate 
motive 
neoclassicism 


opera buffa 

opera seria 

pizzicato 
recapitulation (or reprise) 
refrain 

rondo 

serenade 

Singspiel 

slow introduction 
solo 

sonata 

sonata form 

staccato 

string quartet 
symphony 

tenuto 

theme and variations 
tutti 


KEY COMPOSERS 


Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799) 
Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) 

Maria Theresia von Paradis (1759-1824) 

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) 


Part: 5 Flashcards: The Classical Period 


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Thailand: Music of the Khaen 








Among the Lao people of Laos and Northeast Thailand, the most widespread instrument is the khaen, a free-reed mouth 
organ. Similar instruments date back to the Bronze Age. 


Cultural history 


Once known as Siam, Thailand was populated in the eleventh century by migrants from Southwest China. Over the 
centuries, it grew into a major regional power. Although many of its neighbors were colonially controlled, Thailand 
remained self-governing. Today the country consists of seventy-six provinces and has a population of over sixty-eight 
million people. 


The khaen 


The khaen consists of bamboo pipes grouped together in two rows from longest to shortest. The free reeds of a copper-silver 
alloy are mounted in the pipe walls inside a carved wooden windchest called tao (“gourd”). The openings around the 
windchest are caulked with a kind of insect waste called Ahisut. Finger-holes are burned above the windchest so that all the 
fingers may be used to open and close the holes. 

Unlike Western single or double-reed instruments (like the clarinet and oboe, respectively), free-reed instruments feature 
a metal tongue that is attached at one end to a base and enclosed within a frame. Air pressure causes the reed to vibrate, 
creating a specific pitch depending on the length of the reed. 





Modes 


The music of the khaen is based on modes, just like medieval classical music. 
The Thai word for mode is /ai. There are six modes: lai sootsanaen (G-~A—C—D-E); lai bo sai (C-D—F—G-—A); lai 
soi (D-E—G—A-B); lai yai (A-C—D-E-G); lai noi (D-F—G—A-C); and a sixth mode (E-G—A-B-D), which doesn’t have a 


name. Each mode requires that one or two drones be played either by closing finger-holes with either the fingers or bits 
of khisut wax. Notes are played singly, in octaves, or in combination with other notes. 


Video: Khaen demonstration 


In this 2019 video by Terry Miller filmed in Thailand, Dr. Priwan Nanongkham, director of Kent State University’s Thai 
Ensemble, shows the different parts of the khaen and plays a piece in the Jai sootsanaenmode. As he notes, this music 
features short, repeated improvised melodic phrases based on the notes in the mode, with a drone played underneath. Unlike 
European melodies that progress in a linear motion, the repeated phrases here seem to circle around in a spiraling 
movement. Notice the pulsing rhythm the musician is able to achieve using his breath, with sharper inhalations/exhalations 
giving extra emphasis to different parts of the music. 


Video 33.5: Thailand: Music of the Khaen 
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The use of repetitive melodic figures can be heard in other world music traditions, including gamelan music. 
These world music styles have influenced recent music by composers like Philip Glass and others known as 
“minimalists.” They also make use of short, repeated melodies to achieve a similar trance-like effect. 


NPN C4 INCOR GCONTN X04 1 (ONCE GD RGLord CC oLeLe MN DOTSIN UBER OTSIOT ES 


Free-reed instruments have a centuries-long history in Asia but were virtually unknown in Europe until the late 
eighteenth century, when an explorer brought back a Chinese mouth organ that was similar in construction to the khaen. 
This instrument inspired several new musical inventions, including the harmonica, also a small mouth organ. 
Inexpensive and easy to play, harmonicas quickly spread throughout the world, and there are many popular artists who 
play the instrument today. 





¢ Bob Dylan uses the harmonica on both his social-protest songs (like “Blowin’ in the Wind”) and more rock-oriented 
music (“I Want You”; “Tangled Up in Blue”). 


* 
D 
G 


“Blowin’ in the Wind” by Bob Dylan (1963) 


f 

“T Want You” by Bob Dylan (1966) 
Ca 

“Tangled Up in Blue” by Bob Dylan (1975) 


¢ Stevie Wonder began his career as a teenage musical sensation playing the harmonica (‘“‘Fingertips, Part 1”) and 
continued to use it in his more mature pop songs (“For Once in My Life’). 


a 
f 
“Fingertips (Part I)” by Stevie Wonder 


ry 
9) 
o 


“For Once In My Life” by Stevie Wonder (1968) 


¢ “Timber” by Pitbull, featuring Ke$ha and released in 2012, has a prominent harmonica part that opens the song and 
continues throughout in the background. 


PART 


The Romantic Period 


All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music. —WALTER PATER 





Caspar David Friedrich, The Wanderer above a Sea of Fog (1817). 


CHAPTER 34 
Music in the Romantic Period 


CHAPTER 35 
Art Song 


CHAPTER 36 


Piano Music 


CHAPTER 37 
Orchestral Music 


CHAPTER 38 
Romantic Opera 


CHAPTER 39 
Late-Nineteenth-Century Music 


GLOBAL CONNECTIONS The Gambia: Music of the Mandinka 


When you think of the word romantic, what images come to mind? Today the term most often describes an expression of 
love, especially in the early stages of a relationship. But in the arts, romantic has many other meanings. In music, the 
Romantic movement of the early nineteenth century erupted in reaction to the Classical era’s emphasis on balance and 
symmetry. The Romantics were drawn to nature, finding in it the same awe-inspiring grandeur and beauty that previous 
generations had found in religion. Classical constraint gave way to unbounded feeling; rational thought, to the free play of 
emotions. 





Eugéne Delacroix’s painting Liberty Leading the People (1830), an idealized and symbolic representation of the July Revolution in France, 
captured the spirit of Romanticism. 


The term Romantic comes from roman, a type of medieval poem written in one of the Romance languages. Around 1800, 
German critics detected features of the roman—its emphasis on romance, the fantastic, and the supernatural—in the literature 
of their own time. They called this literature “Romantic” because they thought it was influenced by medieval models rather 
than models from classical antiquity that had influenced eighteenth-century literature. Critics began to sharpen the distinction 
between Classical and Romantic art. Classical art tended toward objective beauty and formal purity. Romantic art tended 
toward subjective content and the mixing of different forms and genres. Classical art suggested the mechanical and finite; 
Romantic art, the natural and the infinite. 

As the nineteenth century progressed, Romantic gained additional meanings, until at last it described a great variety of 
new art and literature. Romantic art and literature displayed the following hallmarks: 


¢ Fascination with the gothic 

¢ Freeing of the imagination and its irrational forces 
¢ Emphasis on emotions 

* Celebration of originality 


¢ Yearning for the infinite 


Romantic acquired so many meanings that it eventually lost much of its usefulness for describing the arts of this period. But it 
has endured as a label for the nineteenth-century reaction against Classicism. 


Why Listen to Romantic Music? 


Somewhere in the second half of the eighteenth century, the status of music began to rise among the arts. Until then, music 
had often been regarded as a diversion because of its association with subjective emotional experiences. But with the 
transformation brought on by the Romantic movement—including its new interest in subjectivity—music acquired new allure 
and prestige. By the late nineteenth century, music’s position among the arts had changed considerably. The influential 
English critic Walter Pater captured music’s new importance when he wrote that “all art constantly aspires towards the 
condition of music.” 

Today we have lost much of the Romantics’ enthusiasm for seeing the world primarily through our subjective feelings. 
But we are still very much aware of music’s power to express and appeal to our emotions directly and meaningfully. This 
sense that music can communicate in a way that words cannot is a nod to nineteenth-century Romanticism, and a compelling 
reason why we should listen. 


Romantic Movements 


Romanticism was not a unified movement. It pursued different paths in different parts of Europe, primarily in Germany, 
France, and England. One German forerunner was the Sturm und Drang (Storm and Stress) movement of the 1770s. 
The Sturm und Drang produced plays and novels with highly emotional characters, who often met tragic ends. One writer 
touched by the Sturm und Drang was Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832). His sensational novel The Sorrows of 
Young Werther (1774) concerns a young man who kills himself in a fit of lovesick despair. A free spirit, Werther prefers art 
that expresses genius and is not bound by rules. His behavior and outlook clash with the enlightened, rationalist thought of the 
Classical period, and anticipate the attitudes of Romantic writers and artists who followed in the nineteenth century. 

In France, an important influence on the Romantic movement was the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712—1778), 
who exposed his candid feelings in his Confessions (1782). In his philosophical writings, Rousseau viewed modern mankind 
as corrupted by civilization, and our distant ancestors as “noble savages” who had lived in an innocent state of nature. 
Rousseau’s ideas about civilization forecast the French Revolution, which unleashed its full fury in 1789. The revolution not 
only tore the fabric of French society but also advanced new views about the role of the modern artist. 

In England, too, artists moved toward new models that focused on personal expression. An unusual influence was one of 
the great literary forgeries of all time. In the 1760s, readers were introduced to Ossian, a mythic Celtic poet from the third 
century BCE. Ossian was largely the invention of the enterprising Scotsman James Macpherson (1736-1796). Macpherson 
pieced together bits of epic poetry from the Greeks and Romans and set them in Ireland and Scotland to create the so-called 
Ossianic poems. He then passed them off as parts of an original Celtic epic poem, crediting himself only as its “translator.” 
The work described the pre-civilized world of the Celts, as well as their wars and interactions with supernatural figures. An 
Ossianic craze followed the release of Macpherson’s work and quickly spread beyond England. Goethe’s Werther declared 
that Ossian had replaced Homer in his heart, and Napoleon carried a copy of Ossian with him during his campaigns. 





The Dream of Ossian (1813) by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. Ossian—supposedly a hero from Celtic mythology—became a powerful 
Romantic symbol in the hands of Romantic artists. 


What all these authors shared was a reaction against eighteenth-century Enlightened thought. The Romantics overturned 
the Classical notion that art imitated external objects or ideas and that artists should follow time-honored models. Newly 
empowered, the Romantics countered that a work of art generated its own creative energy. Instead of imitating the world, art 
expressed the artist’s highly original experiences of it. For the Romantics what counted was not the objective form of art but 
its subjective content. 





Tintern Abbey, the Transept (ca. 1795) by J. M. W. Turner. Its haunted location was the subject of a famous poem by Wordsworth. 


Responses to these revolutionary ideas were wide ranging. In England, William Wordsworth (1770-1850) declared that 
poetry expressed the spontaneous outpouring of feelings. With Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772—1834) Wordsworth 
published The Lyrical Ballads (1798), which embodied the Romantic spirit. Wordsworth’s “Tintern Abbey,” the final poem in 
the collection, combined the gothic setting of a ruined, twelfth-century abbey and a fascination with the natural world. Also 
appearing in the collection, Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is a perfect example of the Romantics’ focus on the 
individual. Its story of a mariner haunted by his act of shooting an albatross combines the Romantic views of the supernatural 
and an individual struggling with deep feelings of guilt. 

In France, the writer Victor Hugo (1802-1885) defined Romanticism as “liberalism in nature.” Hugo’s most famous 
novel, Les Misérables, celebrates a representative man, Jean Valjean, who clashes with the rules and conventions of society. 
In America, Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) and Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) found inspiration in the occult and 
grotesque, and in individuals depicted as “outsiders.” All these examples show the Romantics’ determination to explore new 
ways of expressing their diverse subjective experiences. Romantic composers explored these experiences as well, and 
attempted to release the full range of their emotional world in a colorful language of tones. 


Interactive Timeline: The Romantic Period 


Franz Schubert 1797-1828 1815 “Erlkdnig’ 1828 Winterreise Antonin Dvordk 1841-1904 1893 Symphony No.9 
——SESESeeaaaaSSSSSSS 


Hector Berlioz 1803-1869 1830 Fantastic Symphony 
ne I ooo 














Fanny Hensel 1805-1847 1841 “Il Saltarello Romano” 
Wagner, The Ring of the Nibelung 
Felix Mendelssohn 1809-1847 1826 A Midsummer Night's Dream Overture 1848-1876 
Se 
2 Robert Schumann 1810-1856 Carnaval 1835 1840 Dichterliebe Gustav Mahler 1860-1911 1898 Songs of a Wayfarer 
9 ———SSS 
a Frédéric Chopin 1810-1849 1831 Nocturne in Eflat major 1839 Prelude in D minor Richard Strauss 1864-1949 1890 Death and Transfiguration 
. i ig 
6 
S Franz Liszt 1811-1886 1858 Petrarch Sonnet No. 104 
iE 
5 
2 Richard Wagner 1813-1883 1865 Tristan and Isolde 
5 pn => 
5 Giuseppe Verdi 1813-1901 Rigoletto 1851 
2 
2 Clara Schumann 1819-1896. 1841 “Liebst du um Schénheit” 
Sa) ST 
Johannes Brahms 1833-1897 1879 Violin Concerto in D major 
Georges Bizet 1838-1875 Carmen 1875, 
a ee 
Modest Mussorgsky 1839-1881 1874 Pictures at an Exhibition 
a 
Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky 1840-1893 1880 Romeo and Juliet 
rr 
1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890 1900 1910 
© William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, American Civil War 
lyrical Ballads The Communist Manifesto 1861-1865 
1798 July Revolution in France; 1848 @ 5 
E Delacroix, Liberty leading the People 
5 
= © Goethe, © Charles Dickens, 
5 Faust, Part! Oliver Twist 
& 1808 1838 Second Republic 
3 in France 
= OGG; 1848-1852 P — 
War of 1812 Faust, Part Il aes Reign of Queen Victoria in England 
1812-1815 1832 1837-1901 
EST 








CHAPTER 


Music in the Romantic Period 


In the same way the term “romantic” acquired many different meanings, Romantic music included a diverse 
group of composers with individual styles of expression. Still, several telltale signs distinguish Romantic 
music from eighteenth-century Classical music. Composers of the Romantic period had distinctive 
approaches to melody, dynamics, rhythm, harmony, form, and timbre. 

During the nineteenth century, the social status of composers changed. Now less dependent for their 
livelihoods on European courts, composers found support in a growing middle class that attended public 
concerts. Many cities established their own civic orchestras to satisfy this growing consumer base. Of 
course, the same economic forces that created the new artistic freedom posed challenges. Few composers 
could survive by selling their music, and many had to find other ways to support themselves. Some gave 
lessons, others went on concert tours, and still others turned to music journalism. In the concert halls and 
opera houses, they struggled to find new audiences to support their art. But however they pursued their 
careers, Romantic composers exploited their new freedom with energy and daring. 





Franz Liszt conducts at a concert in Budapest, 1865. 


The nineteenth century is sometimes described as the century of Romantic music, but this is an 
oversimplification. Signs of musical Romanticism emerged in the late eighteenth century, and the movement 
was more or less over by the mid-1800s. Increasingly after 1850, new directions in the arts, including 
realism, naturalism, symbolism, and impressionism, challenged Romanticism. By the end of the century, 
composers were creating music fundamentally different from the Romantic music of the first half of the 
century. 

Even at the height of Romanticism, music had lingering ties to Classicism. Nearly every Romantic 
composer was indebted in some way to the music of the great Viennese Classicists. The Romantics’ 
relationship to this music was different for each composer. Some relied heavily on classical forms while 
others strove to break cleanly from the past. The most accurate way of understanding nineteenth-century 
music is to acknowledge the presence of both movements. Classicism and Romanticism were like two 
intertwining strands, with Romanticism increasingly more prominent, and Classicism less so. Nineteenth- 
century composers transformed the Classical style and romanticized the legacies of Haydn, Mozart, and 
Beethoven to create a new kind of music. 


34.1 Melody in Romantic Music 


Above all, Romantic composers valued music that was spontaneous. Generally avoiding the tidy, balanced phrases of 
Classical melodies, they created freer melodies that suggested imbalance and unpredictability. 

A vivid example is the opening melody of Frédéric Chopin’s Prelude in D minor for piano (see also p. 303). It begins 
simply enough with a three-note descending figure. From this opening, Chopin spins out an agitated melody, intense and 
passionate, that unfolds in two parts: 


Chopin: Prélude in D minor, Op. 28 No. 24 


Allegro appassionato 





Figure Animations: Notated Example: Chopin Prelude in D Minor 


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The first part consists of a phrase that crests on the downbeat of bar 3. The second phrase (beginning in bar 5) retraces 
the three-note descent from the beginning, but now stretches to a higher range, peaking on the downbeat of bar 7. Chopin 
then extends and intensifies this second phrase. To finish off the second phrase, he adds a totally unanticipated gesture in the 
twelfth measure: a rushing scale that climbs three octaves before breaking off abruptly in the highest reach of the piano. 
What begins as a singable melody quickly turns into a fantasy playable only on the piano. 


34.2 Dynamics and Expression Marks in Romantic Music 


Romantic composers also set off their music from the Classical period by exploring a wide range of 
dynamics. Instead of just using the traditional range of dynamics from, say, pianissimo (__ », for very soft) 
to fortissimo (sy, for very loud), they now added more extreme markings— gy, for example, or even 

Ppppp, to suggest nothing more than a hint of a whisper of a sound. They used dynamics to help reinforce 
an impression of spontaneity. The opening of Chopin’s prelude again serves as a good example. Chopin 
begins forte only to subside immediately through a diminuendo. Then, the second and third bars swell and 
ebb in volume. Finally, Chopin gradually increases the intensity, adding three more crescendos, the last 
accompanying the surging ascending scale. 

In addition to bold, flexible treatments of dynamics, Romantic composers stamped their individuality 
onto their scores by adding expression markings to describe a mood. In an exquisite piano composition titled 
By Lake Wallenstadt, Franz Liszt designated the tempo as Andante placido (moderately, placidly). He went 
even further by adding these lines from the Romantic poet Lord Byron’s Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1818), 
a long narrative poem: “Thy contrasted lake / With the wild world I dwell in, is a thing, / Which warns me, 
with its stillness, to forsake / Earth’s troubled waters for a purer spring.” These four lines invited performers 
and audiences to imagine themselves as tourists visiting the Swiss mountain lake, reading Byron’s poetry, 
and listening to Liszt’s music—a perfect example of Romantic escapism. 





J. M. W. Turmer’s painting of a scene from Lord Byron’s narrative poem Childe Harold ’s Pilgrimage. Franz Liszt included 
lines from the poem in his piano composition titled By Lake Wallenstadt. 


34.3 Tempo and Rhythm in Romantic Music 


Romantic composers also took new liberties in their use of rhythm. They freely specified gradual changes in 
tempo, including the ritard, a reduction in speed, and accelerando, an increase in speed. This stretching and 
contracting of the basic pulse created a natural, variable rhythmic flow. Another technique that became 
common in the nineteenth century was rubato, a flexible approach to rhythm in which performers stretched 
or contracted the rhythmic values of a melody but without altering the overall pace. Rubato reflected the 
Romantics’ preference for rhythmic spontaneity and gave the performer license to make rhythmic changes in 
a passage to add to its expressiveness. 


34.4 Harmony and Tonality in Romantic Music 


During the nineteenth century, the familiar tonal system of the Classical period was transformed. Classical 
tonality depended on a tonic triad supported by a group of related triads (see pp. 121—23). The most 
important of these was the dominant triad, which was built on the fifth pitch of the scale. Classical 
composers viewed tonality primarily as an orderly, rational system of musical planning. Romantic 
composers, on the other hand, used tonality as yet another agent of expression. Their compositions 
frequently visited a broad range of keys and introduced daring harmonic progressions well removed from the 
tonic. Romantic composers began moving away from the standard dominant-to-tonic progression of the 
Classical period in favor of other possibilities, such as key changes to a third above or below the tonic. In 
addition, they blurred the distinction between the major and minor modes by frequently mixing major and 
minor keys. Thus, a composition in C major might contain harmonies freely drawn from the key of C minor. 
Composers also intensified the use of dissonances, weakening the power of the tonic. 

Romantic composers extended the tonal system further by experimenting with new, colorful harmonies, 
especially with pitches drawn from the chromatic scale (see p. 17). Unfamiliar and novel, these 
chromatically tinged harmonies gave the music a raised sense of yearning and anticipation. And the more 
these harmonies were used in a composition, the more they challenged the idea of a secure tonic key. 

As the nineteenth century progressed, all these innovations reached a critical stage of development in the 
work of Richard Wagner. His great music drama Tristan and Isolde (1865), often seen as the culmination of 
German musical Romanticism, featured long stretches of chromatically charged music that masked the sense 
of key centers. 





Tristan and Isolde, in an 1883 painting at Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria. Richard Wagner’s 1865 music drama version is 
often seen as the culmination of German musical Romanticism. 


Wagner’s innovative approach to harmonic and tonal planning fundamentally affected the course of 
nineteenth-century music. The next generation of composers adopted and extended his revolutionary 
approach. Indeed, by the end of the century, some composers were writing music that came close to 
abandoning stable tonal centers. Their work paved the way for the more radical experiments of twentieth- 
century modernism (see Part VII). 


34.5 Forms and Genres in Romantic Music 


Just as you might expect, the Romantic composers developed flexible approaches to musical form, again to 
make their music more spontaneous and expressive. Their compositions ranged from works of enormous 
size, many times the length of their Classical counterparts, to short pieces that lasted barely a minute or two. 
Some of Wagner’s operas last upward of five hours, while one of Chopin’s piano preludes, less than a 
minute. Wagner’s gigantic operas pursued the Romantic ideal of the infinite by stretching their lengths to 
epic proportions. Miniature pieces impressed listeners as being created on the spur of the moment. 

Throughout the nineteenth century, Classical musical genres still held sway. Composers continued to 
write sonatas, string quartets, concertos, symphonies, and operas, and they continued to use Classical forms, 
including sonata form, theme and variations, and rondo. But they filled the old Classical blueprints with 
highly original, subjective contents. Romanticism was, after all, a celebration of content over form. 
Composers now expressed their creative subjectivity by wholeheartedly exploring program music (see p. 
147), instrumental music intended to evoke images or convey the impression of events that included 
descriptive titles and sometimes even detailed explanations to help guide listeners. 

The range of these composers’ imaginations was astonishing. Franz Liszt wrote a collection of piano 
pieces titled Years of Pilgrimage, inspired in part by his experiences in Switzerland and Italy. Mendelssohn 
produced dozens of Songs without Words, refined and expressive piano miniatures that resembled songs but 
lacked texts and vocal parts. Robert Schumann composed collections with titles such as Fantasy Pieces, 
Night Pieces, and Scenes of Childhood. On occasion, he titled his pieces only after he had composed them, 
letting the music suggest the meaning. Schumann’s short piano pieces include “Soaring,” “Whims,” “The 
Prophetic Bird,” and—most Romantic of all—the open-ended “Why?” Other nineteenth-century composers 
wrote orchestral music inspired by novels, poems, plays, historical subjects, paintings, myths, and exotic 
locales. 

For the Romantics, program music was compatible with the traditional genres of instrumental music. 
Liszt wrote a piano concerto with the title Dance of Death, and Mendelssohn composed a Scottish 
Symphony, with allusions to Scottish history and folksong. Romantic composers did not always rely on 
traditional genres for their program music, however. On occasion, their inspiration produced new genres, 
most notably the character piece, short piano compositions with programmatic references, and the concert 
overture, a free-standing movement for orchestra that was often inspired by non-musical subjects (see 
Chapter 37). 


34.6 Timbre and Tone Color in Romantic Music 


Tone color—the timbre or quality of sound—fascinated the Romantics. They brought a new emphasis to the sensual aspects 
of sound in their music. Nowhere was their interest in tone color more evident than in orchestral music. Throughout the 
century, the size of orchestras continued to expand. New instruments were employed for special effects, and the brass 
section was strengthened considerably. Orchestration—the art of organizing an ensemble’s instrumental sections into 
shifting patterns of sounds—took its rightful place next to harmony and counterpoint as a musical discipline. 





MAKING CONNECTIONS Romantic Content in Program Music 


In celebrating content over form in their music, Romantic composers considerably stretched expectations of what music 
could accomplish. When Franz Liszt finished his first symphony in 1854, instead of releasing it as his Symphony No. 

1, he titled it “Faust” Symphony. Why? Because he designed the symphony to be about Goethe’s great dramatic poem. 
Liszt conceived the three movements of the work as musical sketches of the principal characters: Faust, a restless 
scholar who signs a pact with the devil; Gretchen, an innocent woman whom he seduces; and Mephistopheles, the 
satanic character who agrees to grant Faust’s desires in exchange for Faust’s soul. Granted, the three movements of the 
symphony—fast, slow, and very fast—followed an old pattern familiar to Haydn and Mozart in the eighteenth century. 
However, instead of carefully focusing on using Classical forms such as sonata form, Liszt was more interested in tying 
his symphony to one of the great literary masterpieces of the nineteenth century. He was, in short, a confirmed 
composer of program music. 





Faust and Mephistopheles. The tragic tale of how Faust sold his soul to the devil was a popular one among Romantic writers, artists, and 
composers. 


So were many of his contemporaries. Mendelssohn and Berlioz wrote music about their impressions of Italy, and 
Robert Schumann wrote colorful piano pieces with titles more literary than musical—Papillons (Butterflies), Carnaval, 
and Dances of the League of David. The Romantics were not at all modest in expanding the power of their music to 
treat non-musical subjects, including plays (Mendelssohn’s Overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream about 
Shakespeare’s play), paintings (Liszt’s piano piece Sposalizio about Raphael’s painting of the wedding of Mary and 
Joseph), and ancient Greek art (Liszt’s Orfeo, an orchestral work inspired by a Greek vase depicting Orpheus). Program 
music allowed the Romantics to celebrate subjective content over objective form in a way that was limited only by their 
imaginations. 


Encouraging the new interest in orchestration were technological advances of the Industrial Revolution, which led to 
modifications of instruments. In particular, valves were added to brass instruments. In the past, brass instruments had been 
limited in the variety of notes they could play. To play all the notes of the scale, brass players had to carry several different 
fittings to be inserted into their instruments. Adding valves enabled musicians to play the full chromatic scale on a single 
instrument so that they could perform complex melodies. The increased melodic role of brass instruments in turn expanded 
the palette of instrumental colors available to composers. 


check your KNOWLEDGE 34 


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34.1 
34.2 


34.3 
P 


Chapter 34 Quiz 


CHAPTER 


35 


Art Song 


“Every composer is a poet, only of a higher stature.” With these words, Robert Schumann elevated composers to the status 
of “tone-poets.” For the Romantics, music was a language far richer and more suggestive than words. Felix Mendelssohn, 
when asked to explain the meaning of some of his piano pieces, replied that words alone were too vague and imprecise. The 
nineteenth-century philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer argued that texts served to unleash—not control—the imagination of 
composers. Their music, in short, was a powerful, independent language of emotions. 

Romantic composers set many texts to music, and their century saw a great flowering of the art song. Art songs were 
especially popular in German-speaking areas, where they were known as lieder (pronounced /eeter; singular, lied, 
pronounced /ee?). Lieder were vocal songs with German texts typically composed for a solo singer and piano. Sometimes 
several lieder were composed as part of a song cycle, an artistically unified set of songs grouped in a particular order to 
explore a particular theme or tell a story, or both. 


MAKING CONNECTIONS Lyric Poetry and Us 


The nineteenth century saw a great resurgence of lyric poetry. This art form traced its origins to the ancient Greeks, 
who wrote poems sung to the accompaniment of a lyre. In the nineteenth century, lyric poems were relatively short, 
consisting of a few stanzas in recurring poetic meters. Often set in the first person, they were designed to capture and 
express a personal feeling or emotional response. Not surprisingly, lyric poetry became a favorite medium for Romantic 
poets and composers alike. Here is one famous example of a lyric poem by Robert Burns: 





O my Luve is like a red, red rose 
That’s newly sprung in June; 

O my Luve is like the melody 
That’s sweetly played in tune. 


So fair art thou, my bonnie lass, 
So deep in luve am IJ; 

And I will luve thee still, my dear, 
Till a’ the seas gang dry. 


Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear, 
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun; 

I will love thee still, my dear, 
While the sands o’ life shall run. 


And fare thee weel, my only luve! 
And fare thee weel awhile! 

And I will come again, my luve, 
Though it were ten thousand mile. 





Scottish poet Robert Burns (1759-1796). 


Today, lyric poetry is alive and well in popular culture. We need look no further than the top popular songs. They 
tend to be short and use texts (known, not accidentally, as /yrics) that fall into several stanzas, and they tend to focus on 
a particular feeling or emotional state. 


Encouraging the remarkable burst of nineteenth-century song writing was the rise of German lyric poetry. It achieved 
extraordinary subtlety in the hands of Goethe, the preeminent figure in German arts and letters. His short, sensitively 
nuanced poems were ideally suited to the needs of Romantic composers, who valued above all else subjective, personal 
experiences in their music. The music reflected the shifting nuances of the poetry while the poetry inspired a variety of 
melodic and harmonic ideas. Music and poetry were fused into a new genre, the Romantic art song. 

Songwriters found their texts in many sources. Among the German poets, they turned to Goethe and Schiller, and also to 
younger German poets, especially Heinrich Heine, Joseph Eichendorff, and Wilhelm Miller. Folk poetry, with its timeless 
themes, also provided a rich source of texts. Finally, some composers turned to British poetry. They drew on the celebrated 
Ossianic poems, the long narrative poems of Sir Walter Scott, the lyric poetry of Lord Byron, and the poems of Robert 
Burns, cast in common dialects evocative of Scottish folksong. Composers also used texts from the plays of Shakespeare, 
highly regarded in German areas since the eighteenth century. 

Among the most prolific composers of art songs were Franz Peter Schubert, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, and 
Hugo Wolf. The century also produced a number of distinguished women songwriters, among them Clara Schumann (wife 
of Robert Schumann), Fanny Hensel (sister of Felix Mendelssohn), and Josephine Lang. 


35.1 Schubert’s Life 


Born in Vienna in 1797, Franz Schubert led a modest life for almost all his thirty-one years. By the time he 
died in 1828, his lieder and piano pieces were popular in Austria, although full recognition of his genius and 
enormous catalogue of music came only later in the century. 





Franz Schubert (1797-1828). 


Schubert received his first musical instruction from his father, a schoolmaster of modest means, who 
taught him to play the violin. When he was eleven years old, the boy was sent to an imperial monastery 
school for commoners. There he came to the attention of Antonio Salieri, the aging court composer of Italian 
opera and Mozart’s former rival (see Chapter 32). Young Schubert served as a choirboy in the imperial court 
chapel and played in the student orchestra. Throughout his student years he composed fluently, relying on 
the generosity of an older student who gave him music paper, which Schubert was too poor to buy. 

When his voice broke, Schubert left the boarding school. His father had intended him to become a 
schoolteacher. For a few years, he taught in his father’s school and sometimes gave music lessons to help 
support himself. Though teaching became increasingly time-consuming, Schubert produced an extraordinary 
amount of music. In 1814, at age seventeen, he wrote his first masterpiece, the song Gretchen at the Spinning 
Wheel, based on a famous poem from Goethe’s Faust. Then, in 1815, Schubert set to music Goethe’s popular 
ballad “Erlk6nig” (“The Erlking’’), a composition that would become one of his most famous. That same 
year, he produced over 140 other songs, 30 of them inspired by Goethe’s poetry. The next year he wrote 
another 100 songs. 

Eventually, Schubert left teaching to devote himself to composition. However, in his last ten years, he 
suffered from syphilis, and his health steadily declined. Unlike Beethoven, Schubert had few patrons, and he 
failed to win a steady position in Vienna. Known to his friends as “little mushroom” (Schubert was not quite 
five feet tall), he did have the encouragement of a small group of young middle-class artists, musicians, and 
poets. These supporters gathered in the evenings to hear his latest work. But in the reactionary political 
environment of Vienna after the fall of Napoleon, such gatherings were suspect. For a time, Schubert and his 
friends were under surveillance by the secret police, and at one point he and five others were questioned and 
detained. 

Schubert revered the music of Beethoven, although, incredibly, the paths of the two musicians rarely 
crossed in Vienna. At Beethoven’s funeral, Schubert was among the torchbearers, but he survived the great 
musician by only a year or so. According to his wish, he was buried near Beethoven’s grave. 

Although Schubert is most often associated with the German art song—he crafted over 600—he was a 
remarkably versatile and prolific composer who completed nearly 400 other works. Besides vocal music, 
Schubert composed a large quantity of instrumental music, including numerous dance pieces and miniatures 
for piano. Many of these piano pieces were written for the so-called Schubertiades, the evening gatherings of 
his friends. Some of Schubert’s best work is found in his piano sonatas, string quartets, and other chamber 
music, all worthy successors to Beethoven’s masterpieces. 





A Schubertiade (gathering of Schubert’s friends for an evening of music), as depicted by Moritz von Schwind. Schubert is 
shown playing the piano (center). 


Schubert also wrote an impressive series of symphonies. The first few owe a great deal to the 
symphonies of Mozart and Haydn. The most famous, the Unfinished (No. 8), is actually one of several 
symphonic fragments Schubert left behind, and it did not appear in print until 1867. The Ninth Symphony, 
the Great, is a formidable large-scale work that shows clearly the influence of Beethoven. Its premiere, 
which took place more than ten years after Schubert’s death, required the joint efforts of Robert Schumann, 
who found the manuscript in Vienna, and Mendelssohn, who conducted the work in Leipzig. Only about 100 
of Schubert’s compositions appeared in print during his lifetime. It remained for musicians of following 
generations—Robert Schumann, Mendelssohn, Liszt, and Brahms—to help establish Schubert’s fame and 
rightful place in music history. 


35.2 Schubert’s Lieder 


Schubert was not the first to compose lieder, although his uncommon talents raised songwriting to a new 
standard of excellence. Before him, Mozart and others had written German songs, and in 1816 Beethoven 
created an exquisite set of songs titled Jo the Distant Beloved. Before Schubert, several minor composers 
already had set Goethe’s poems to music. Goethe himself preferred simple melodic lines and unassuming 
piano accompaniments. He wanted little more than a musical background to support recitations of his poems, 
designed to enhance the metrical patterns of the verses but not to compete with the poetry. 

However, in Schubert’s mature lieder, the music is far more than a simple accompaniment. Schubert’s 
melodies are ideally suited to the singing voice and give a spontaneous musical expression to the poetry. The 
piano accompaniments, anything but unassuming, are often very complex. Schubert typically begins with a 
few introductory measures for just the piano. These measures introduce a short theme or a colorful harmonic 
progression to set the mood and prepare the listener for the poem. After the singer begins, Schubert typically 
employs a wealth of figurations in the piano to mirror and interpret the text. 

Schubert produced songs at a staggering rate. On one day in October 1815, for example, he composed 
nine songs. Sometimes, he would write several using texts from one poet. For other stretches of his song 
writing, he turned quickly from one poet to another. 

Many of Schubert’s individual songs have long been popular favorites, such as “The Erlking,” “The 
Trout,” Ave Maria, “Death and the Maiden,” and “To Music.” Schubert is especially remembered for his two 
great song cycles, Die schéne Miillerin (The Lovely Miller's Daughter), which contains twenty songs, and 
Winterreise (Winter's Journey), which contains twenty-four songs. Both cycles are based on the poetry of 
Wilhelm Miiller and are unified by their narrative design and overall moods of rejected love and alienation. 


Schubert’s Song Cycles 


Most of Schubert’s lieder—and art songs in general—fall into three types. The through-composed song 
is an art song that uses new music for each stanza of the poem. Schubert generally employs this form for 
narrative poems or for poems with shifting moods that naturally require fresh music. The strophic song is an 
art song that reuses the same music from one stanza to the next. Schubert often chooses this form for non- 
narrative poems or poems displaying a unity of mood. The modified strophic song falls between the 
through-composed and strophic song. Its music for the first stanza repeats in subsequent stanzas but 
undergoes some variations, such as a change in key, a change in the accompaniment, or a slight revision of 
the vocal line. 


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There is a certain irony that Goethe, whose poetry inspired countless settings from Romantic 
composers, once compared Romanticism to a disease. He had strong views about music and how his 
own poetry should be set in song. He preferred simple songs with modest musical accompaniment so 
that the poetry, not the music, remained the most important element. Romantic composers, however, 
had a different idea. Goethe was born early enough to witness Mozart in action as a child prodigy, and 
in the poet’s declining years he welcomed another prodigy, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, into his circle 
in Weimar. Like Beethoven, whose music he admired, Goethe had one foot in the eighteenth century 
and the other in the nineteenth; in literature, he was a key transitional figure who connected two 
different ages. 


35.3 Schubert’s “Erlking” 


Goethe’s celebrated poem “Erlk6nig” (German for “Elder King,” a name given to the king of the elves, and 
usually written in English as “Erlking”) is based on a Danish folk legend. It relates the story of a father’s 
terrifying ride on horseback. His son is feverishly ill, and the father is racing to get him to home and safety. 
Clutching his son in his arm, the father reassures him that all will soon be well. Nonetheless, his son fears 
that the sinister Erlking is tormenting him. By the time the father reaches his destination and prepares to 
dismount, his son is dead. 





The Erlking, portrayed by Moritz von Schwind (ca. 1860). 


Goethe’s poem begins with verses for a narrator to set the scene and, at the end, to relate the horrifying 
outcome. The dialogue, though, is mostly between the father and son, with occasional interjections from the 
king of the elves. In adapting the poem into song (see Listening Map 37), Schubert’s challenge was to 
compose dynamic music to capture the rhythm of the galloping horse. At the same time, he needed to 
distinguish the characters’ different roles, which he did using subtle changes in range, key, and 
accompaniment. 

Schubert establishes the mood with a piano introduction that presents an unrelenting series of rapidly 
repeated triplets in the middle register—the galloping horse—and in the bass below a driving, rising motive ( 

@). The music begins pianissimo, suggesting the sound of hoof beats approaching from the distance. 
Against these increasingly insistent rhythms, which continue until the very last measures of music, Schubert 
places the vocal part. Each character is given his own vocal range and character: 


¢ The narrator sings in a medium range and minor mode. 

¢ The father sings in a lower range, also in the minor mode. 

¢ The son sings in a progressively higher range in a minor mode. 
¢ The Erlking sings in a variable range, generally in a major key. 


Schubert further distinguishes the Erlking by giving him a more melodious, seductive style. He also creates a 
slight shift in the accompaniment when the Erlking is singing( @). 


») LISTENING MAP 3 7 
v4 


FRANZ SCHUBERT, “Erlkonig” (“The Erlking”’) 


{1815} 
AUDIO: “Erlkénig” 


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eer | Ow 


Speed: 1x molUsi=r6| 


Schubert’s ballad, written when he was eighteen, captures in a single vocal line the four characters 
of Goethe’s poem. They are the narrator, who introduces the story; the father, who rides a horse 
while clutching his feverish son; the son; and the imagined (or real?) Erlking, who torments the son. 
The piano, animated by a constant flow of restless triplets, conveys the galloping of the horse and 
suspenseful mood of the poem. Musical details shift in response to the drama played out in the 
poem. 





() why to LISTEN 


Schubert uses these dramatic ingredients to create one of the great song settings of the Romantic age. With 
simple means, he creates a dramatic crescendo effect. His music captures in turns the frenzied ride through 
the exhausting piano part, the mounting concern of the father and delusions of the son, and the entrancing 
music of the Erlking. 


( )Jirst LISTEN 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 


A Instructions 


e Click or tap ona section for immediate playback. Click or tap again on that section to pause; cl 
e Hover over the gray bar to cue to a specific time; click or tap to start playing from that spot. (Tt 


tablets or mobile devices) 





0:00 0:22 0:55 1:03 1:18 





1:49 2:02 2:11 2:28 2:41 








3:10 3:24 3:54 


(—-) deeper LISTEN 





TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS TRANSLATION 


0:00 @ Rhythm: Rapid repeated triplets 
against a rising figure in the bass 


Key: minor 
Dynamics: pp 



































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0:22 


0:55 


1:03 


1:28 

































































@ Shift to major key, slight shift in the 
accompaniment (repeated pitches in the bass 
against chords) 

















renin SSS 
eas ; ceseth bpd 


























gf of |\oW7 


Paused 


Speed: 1x 





Wer reitet so spat 
durch Nacht und 
Wind? 

Es ist der Vater mit 
seinem Kind; 

Er hat den Knaben 
wohl in dem Arm, 

Er fasst thn sicher, er 
halt ihn warm. 


“Mein Sohn, was 
birgst du so bang 
dein Gesicht?”’ 


“Siehst, Vater, du den 
Erlkonig nicht, 


den Erlkonig mit 
Kron’ und Schweif?”’ 


“Mein Sohn, es ist 
ein Nebelreif.” 


“Du liebes Kind, 
komm, geh mit mir! 
Gar schéne Spiele 
spiel’ ich mit dir, 
Manch bunte Blumen 
sind an dem Strand, 
Meine Mutter hat 
manch giilden 
Gewand.”’ 


Who rides so late 
through night and 
wind? 

It is the father with his 
child. 

He grasps the boy in 
his arm, 

He holds him fast, he 
keeps him warm. 
“My son, why is your 
face so troubled?” 


“Father, do you not see 
the Erlking, 

The Erlking, with 
crown and train?” 


“My son, it is only a 
wisp of fog.” 

“You lovely child, 
come, go with me! 

Pll play lovely games 
with you, 

There are many bright 
flowers on the shore. 
My mother has many 
golden garments.” 


1:51 


2:04 


2:13 


2:30 

















Son Higher pitch level 

Father 

Erlking Major key, very soft, slight shift in 
accompaniment 

Son Still higher pitch level 





Speed: 1x 


“Mein Vater, mein 
Vater, und horest du 
nicht, 

Was Erlk6nig mir 
leise verspricht?” 


“Sei ruhig, bleibe 
ruhig, mein Kind 
In diirren Blattern 
sduselt der Wind.” 


“Willst, feiner 
Knabe, du mit mir 
gehn? 

Meine Tochter sollen 
dich warten schon, 
Meine Tochter ftihren 
den ndachtlichen 
Reihn, 

Und wiegen und 
tanzen und singen 
dich ein.” 


“Mein Vater, mein 
Vater, und siehst du 
nicht dort 





“My father, my father, 
and do you not hear 
what the Erlking 
promises me?” 


“Be calm, stay calm, 
my child, 

The wind rustles the 
withered leaves.” 


“Fine boy, will you go 
with me? 

My lovely daughters 
wait for you, 

My daughters lead the 
nightly dance, 

and they will cradle 
and dance and sing you 
to sleep.” 


“My father, my father, 
do you not see there 


2:43 


2:59 


3:11 


3:25 


3:56 





Highest pitch level 


Rapid triplets stop 


Erlkoénigs Tochter am 
diistern Ort?” 


“Mein Sohn, mein 
Sohn, ich seh’ es 
genau, 

Es scheinen die alten 
Weiden so grau.” 


“Tch liebe dich, mich 
reizt deine schone 
Gestalt, 

und bist du nicht 
willig, so brauch ich 
Gewalt.”’ 


“Mein Vater, mein 
Vater, jetzt fasst er 
mich auf! 

Erlkonig hat mir ein 
Leids getan!” 


Dem Vater grausets, 
er reitet geschwind, 
Er halt in Armen das 
achzende Kind. 
Erreicht den Hof mit 
Muhe und Not, 

In seinen Armen das 
Kind war tot. 


the Erlking’s daughters 
in the dark?” 


“My son, my son, I see 
it all too well, 

The old willows 
appear so gray.” 


“T love you, your 
pretty face charms me, 
and if you are not 
willing, I will use 
force.” 


“My father, my father, 
now he grasps me! 
The Erlking has 
harmed me!” 


The father shudders, he 
rides quickly, 

he holds in his arms 
the groaning child, 

he reaches the court, 

in his arms the child 
was dead. 


35.4 Robert Schumann 


The second great song composer of the nineteenth century, Robert Schumann, spent most of his career in the German cities 
of Leipzig, Dresden, and Diisseldorf. An impressionable youth devoted to music, Schumann had a particular fondness for 
Schubert’s music and wept when he learned of the composer’s death in 1828. Ten years later, Schumann visited Vienna and 
met Schubert’s brother, who gave him access to Schubert’s unpublished manuscripts. Schumann arranged for several to be 
performed and published. And, like Schubert, Schumann became a prolific composer of songs and song cycles, many of 
which are the equal of Schubert’s. 





Robert Schumann (1810-1856). 


Schumann was born in 1810 in Zwickau, Germany. Encouraged to read German literature by his father, a publisher and 
bookseller, Schumann experimented with writing on his own. He tried his hand at poetry and short stories, finding 
inspiration in the Romantic tales of E. T. A. Hoffmann and Jean Paul Richter. After his father’s death, Schumann studied law 
in Leipzig but chose instead to study piano with Friedrich Wieck, a noted teacher and concert pianist. Planning to become a 
concert pianist, Schumann put in long hours of practice and composed difficult piano music for his performances. However, 
a hand injury ended his plans. Nevertheless, in the first part of his career, he composed primarily piano music, including a 
cycle of pieces titled Carnaval. Into this music and other works Schumann introduced musical ciphers, or codes, to represent 
verbal ideas relating to figures in his circle. 


Robert Schumann’s Carnaval, Op. 9 (“Florestan”) 


Wieck’s best student was his own daughter, Clara, a child prodigy who soon emerged as a composer (see p. 291) and 
distinguished concert pianist. Nine years older than Clara, Schumann fell in love with her and asked Wieck for permission to 
marry her. For reasons that are still not clear, Wieck opposed the marriage and tried to discredit Schumann. Eventually, the 
matter was settled in court, which ruled in the couple’s favor. Robert and Clara were married in 1840. 

The year 1840 also marked a turning point in Schumann’s career: he redirected his creative energies from piano music to 
songs and composed well over 100 lieder, many of them settings of Romantic love poetry. In the years that followed, he 
composed chamber and orchestral music, including four symphonies, and eventually took up choral music. For much of his 
early career, Schumann worked in Leipzig, where his circle included Mendelssohn, then the civic music director. 





Photograph of Clara and Robert Schumann, 1850. © RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY. 


After the Schumanns moved to Dresden for health reasons, a revolution broke out in 1849, and the couple fled the city 
with their children. By then, Schumann was suffering seriously from nervous breakdowns and mental depression. 
Attempting to improve his career, he accepted a post as the municipal music director of Diisseldorf but was not well suited 
to the job. A bright moment in his life came in 1853, when the young composer Johannes Brahms knocked on his door with 
a letter of introduction. Schumann was among the first to recognize Brahms’s genius, but by then Schumann’s health had 
deteriorated significantly. Suffering from hallucinations, he tried to drown himself in the Rhine River. Fishermen rescued 
him, and he was committed to an asylum near Bonn. Forbidden to see Clara until just before his death, he was occasionally 
visited by Brahms. After Schumann’s death in 1856 at the age of forty-six, Brahms remained Clara Schumann’s devoted 
friend for over forty years. 

Schumann’s legacy includes not only his compositions but his work in music journalism. He was instrumental in 
founding the New Journal for Music in 1834 and worked for several years in Leipzig as its editor. Schumann became a 
champion of new music and young composers. As he wrote about musical life in Germany, he voiced his fear that music 
was being overly commercialized by performers focused on showmanship over musical quality. Schumann’s ambitious 
literary efforts were matched by the Romantic spontaneity and color of his music, which marked the high point of German 
Romanticism in the first half of the nineteenth century. 


Video 35.1: The Riddles of Musical Ciphers. Composers often embed secret codes (or ciphers) into their compositions. Using the letter 
names of each note, they are able to spell out names of people or other words within the score. Larry Todd explores the technique in this 
video. 


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35.6 Clara Schumann 


Schumann’s wife, Clara (1819-1896), was one of the most celebrated piano virtuosos of the nineteenth century, and her 
playing won acclaim throughout Europe, and in Moscow. A child prodigy, Clara Wieck began to study piano at age five with 
her father. At age nine, she made her debut in Leipzig and a few years later premiered her piano concerto there with 
Mendelssohn conducting. Her compositions include stylish solo piano pieces designed for her own concerts, an impressive 
set of variations on a theme by Robert, several songs (some published under Robert’s name), and some chamber works, 
including three exquisite Romances for violin and piano, and a piano trio written for Mendelssohn’s sister, Fanny Hensel. 





Clara Schumann (1819-1896). 


Video 35.2: Clara Schumann, Romance in D-Flat Major, Op. 22 No. 1 for violin and piano. Watch Katharina Uhde and Larry Todd 
perform a lyrical chamber work from the middle of the nineteenth century by Clara Schumann. Though recognized as one of the leading 
pianists of her age, she criticized her own efforts at composition. 


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After marrying Robert in 1840, Clara played fewer concerts and found less time to compose—hardly surprising, for 
between 1841 and 1854, she gave birth to eight children. Still, Clara occasionally went on concert tours, and she taught with 
her husband at the newly founded Leipzig Conservatory. After Robert’s mental collapse, Clara raised their family herself. 
She returned to the concert stage and became a noted interpreter and editor of her husband’s music, although she composed 
little after his death. 


35.7 Clara Schumann, “Liebst du um Schonheit” (“If You Love for 
Beauty”) 


Among the gems of Clara Schumann’s music is “If You Love for Beauty,” one of three songs that she composed in 1841 for 
Robert while she was expecting their first child (Listening Map 39). Robert added nine more songs to the collection, all 
drawn from the poetic volume Love s Springtime by Friedrich Riickert. Eventually the twelve lieder appeared in print under 
Robert’s name. 


>) LISTENING MAP 3 g 


CLARA SCHUMANN, “Liebst du um Schonheit” (“If You Love for Beauty’’) 
{1841} 


AUDIO: “Liebst du um Schonheit” 


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Friedrich Riickert’s poem unfolds as a series of four questions (“If you love for ...”). The first three 
reasons—for beauty, youth, or treasure—trigger a negative response, but the fourth—for love—is 
affirmed. Because of the parallel structure of the four stanzas, Clara Schumann used a strophic 
setting but made slight changes in the music from stanza to stanza to take into account the changing 
answers. The song is thus a good example of a modified strophic setting. 





() why to LISTEN 


In four similar stanzas, the poet lists three reasons not to love—for beauty, youth, and wealth—and one reason to love—for 
love itself. The parallel structure of the verses supports a strophic setting, with recurring music from stanza to stanza. 
However, the progression from beauty to youth, wealth, and love described in the text argues for slight changes to the 
underlying strophic design. For instance, the opening melody in the first strophe is slightly modified in the second. Clara 
made most of her adjustments in the second and fourth stanzas, so that the form can be represented as AA'AA”, with A” 
further set off by a shift to a slightly faster tempo. Framing the song are a brief piano introduction and slightly extended 
postlude. The piano has the final comment and suggests the eternity of love. 


( ) first LISTEN 


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«—-) «deeper LISTEN 





TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS TRANSLATION 






0:06 Liebst du um Schonheit, If you love for beauty, 


O nicht mich liebe! Oh, do not love me! 


Opening melody 


Liebe die Sonne, Love the sun 
that wears golden hair. 


Sie trdgt ein gold’nes 





Liebst du um Schdén-heit, o nicht mich lie = be! 


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0:28 Slight changes in vocal Liebst du um Jugend, If you love for youth, 
line O nicht mich liebe! Oh, do not love me! 
Liebe den Friihling, Love the spring 
Der jung ist jedes Jahr! __ that remains young each 
year! 
0:50 Liebst du um Schdatze, If you love for treasure, 
O nicht mich liebe! Oh, do not love me! 
Liebe die Meerfrau, Love the mermaid, 
Sie hat vielen Perlen klar! she has many bright 
pearls! 
Liebst du um Schiat- ze, oO nicht— mich lie - be! 
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1:13 Strophe 4 Slightly faster tempo Liebst du um Liebe, If you love for love, 
A” O ja mich liebe! Oh, do love me! 
Liebe mich immer, Love me forever, 
Dich, lieb’ ich immerdar. you, I will love always. 
1:44 


MAKING CONNECTIONS Clara Schumann as Composer 





Few women musicians composed large-scale works in the nineteenth century. One was Emilie Mayer (1812-1883), 
who wrote eight symphonies, and another was Fanny Hensel (see Chapter 36). Before marrying Robert Schumann, 
Clara Wieck composed a virtuoso piano concerto, and she later produced an impressive piano trio. But after marrying 
Robert, Clara put her composing aside to support Robert’s work and raise their large family. When she did find time to 
compose, Clara concentrated on solo piano pieces and songs, genres associated with music for the home. 

Sadly, Clara dismissed her own efforts to write music. In her opinion, no woman had ever been able to compose 
successfully. In a similar way, the great English novelist George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) observed that men could 
probably have improved most of the books written by women. These belittling comments mirrored the attitudes of the 
time, which minimized the creativity of women artists and relegated them to supporting, domestic roles. Many women 
musicians were effectively written out of history. Because of her fame as a pianist, Clara Schumann was never 
forgotten, but serious consideration of her own music was delayed until well into the twentieth century. 


check your KNOWLEDGE 35 


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35.1 
35.2 
35.3 
35.4 


Chapter 35 Quiz 


CHAPTER 


Piano Music 


During the nineteenth century, the piano as we know it emerged as a powerfully expressive musical instrument. This was the 
great age of piano music. Most of the leading composers and performers were pianists, including the Schumanns, Frédéric 
Chopin, Franz Liszt, Felix Mendelssohn, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, and Johannes Brahms. Beethoven had launched his 
career in Vienna as a pianist and performed in public until deafness overtook him. 

The modern piano was a product of the Industrial Revolution and the new technologies it brought. Reinforced with iron 
plates and rails, pianos could be built with greater tension on their strings than the eighteenth-century fortepianos known to 
Haydn and Mozart. These reinforcements increased the range of both pitches (how high and low) and volume (how soft and 
loud) a piano could play. A new type of key mechanism made it possible to repeat quickly an individual note by reducing 
the distance traveled by the hammer when it struck the string again. 





A modern grand piano. The three pedals are, from left to right, the soft, sostenuto, and damper pedals. 


Another innovation was the standardization of three foot pedals for the instrument. The damper, or sustaining pedal— 
which raised the dampers so that strings could resonate freely—permitted pianists to introduce fresh material with both 
hands while prolonging blurred layers of sound. The una corda, or soft pedal, enabled pianists to create fine shades of sound 
that contrasted with the louder dynamics now possible on the instrument. A third pedal, known as the sostenuto but not 
found on all pianos, was used to sustain individual notes. 

The modern piano was—and remains—an especially versatile instrument. Pianists could manage melodic material with 
one hand while weaving complex accompaniments with the other. Thanks to this capability, complex orchestral works could 
be arranged for the piano. Many composers created their orchestral music while working at the keyboard, where they could 
create a rough version of the music before finalizing the details of the full orchestral score. 

In an age before sound recordings, the piano became an important means of spreading new music. Increasing numbers of 
middle-class European and American households had pianos. Not just sturdy pieces of furniture, they became visible 


reminders of the enhanced cultural role that music enjoyed. To satisfy the growing demand for music making in the home, 
publishers offered music for pianists of all levels. And hosts of traveling concert pianists became well-known celebrities in 
their own right. 


MAKING CONNECTIONS The Age of the Virtuoso 





The nineteenth century was indeed an age of virtuosity. With its emphasis on individual expression, the idea of the 
virtuoso fit in well with the spirit of the Romantic period. Traveling throughout Europe and eventually the United 
States, these highly skilled musicians captivated audiences with their amazing performances. There were virtuosos for 
just about every instrument, although the majority were pianists. Some used their instruments in spectacular ways, like 
the violinist Italian Niccolo Paganini, who could play the violin held upside-down or with only one string. Others drew 
dazzling sounds and created passages so intricate that their audiences could only marvel at how they executed them. 





Niccolo Paganini (1782-1840). 


The dominant piano virtuoso of the century was Franz Liszt (see p. 305—06), whose playing was so sensational that 
a special word, Lisztomania, was coined to describe it. One of Liszt’s rivals, Sigismond Thalberg, was known as “Old 
Arpeggio.” He had a particular way of playing a melody in the middle of the piano and surrounding it with dazzling 
arpeggiations above and below it. Audiences imagined that he must have had three or more hands to pull off this feat. 
Another pianist, Alexander Dreyschock, specialized in doubling the bass line in thunderous octaves. He developed this 
technique so that he could make an already difficult bass part from a Chopin étude still more difficult by playing it with 
rapid-fire, left-hand octaves. Like all virtuosos, these pianists shared a common drive to expand playing technique and 
test the limits of their instrument in new and daring ways. 


36.1 Frederic Chopin 


The Polish composer Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) wrote piano music of exquisite refinement and brilliance. He was born 
to a French father and a Polish mother outside Warsaw, then part of Napoleon’s French empire. He studied in Warsaw and 
played concerts in Austria and Germany before settling in Paris in 1831. Not long before his arrival, Romanticism had 
begun making a strong impact on the arts in France. Chopin spent most of his career in Paris. In 1848, to escape the 
upheaval of the political revolution there, he left France to tour briefly in England and Scotland. By that time, he was 
suffering from tuberculosis. Less than a year after returning to Paris, he died at age thirty-nine. 





Daguerreotype of Frédéric Chopin from 1849, the year of his death. 


During his eighteen years in Paris, Chopin withdrew from the demanding career of a public concert pianist. Frail in 
health, he preferred to compose and teach piano to French aristocrats, and he was a favorite at salons held in their lavish 
residences. During these evening salons, spontaneous music making took its place along with poetry readings and cultured 
conversation. Chopin’s circle boasted an impressive group of musicians, artists, and writers. Among them were fellow 
virtuoso Franz Liszt and the unconventional composer Hector Berlioz (see pp. 322—30). Chopin also befriended the painter 
Eugene Delacroix and the writers Alfred de Musset, Honoré de Balzac, and Gustave Flaubert. 

Then there was the baroness Aurore Dudevant, who wrote a stream of novels under the pen name of George Sand. 
Chopin met her in 1836, and for eleven years she was his lover, counselor, and artistic companion. An early feminist, Sand 
surrounded herself with artists, had affairs with men and women, occasionally wore male attire, and took up cigar smoking. 
Chopin and Sand divided their time between Paris and Sand’s summer estate 150 miles south of Paris, where Chopin 
composed much of his piano music. 

Chopin focused almost exclusively on music for solo piano. His short, intimate piano pieces make up much of his finest 
work. They include stylized renditions of the waltz (in French, valse), a ballroom dance in triple meter, and two dances of 
Polish origin: the polonaise, an aristocratic dance in triple meter; and mazurka, a peasant dance also in triple meter. 
Chopin’s nostalgia for his homeland, especially after the Russians crushed a Polish revolt in 1831, gives many of these 
works a feeling of melancholy. Chopin also composed nearly thirty études, short, highly polished exercises designed to 
explore the technical resources of the modern piano. 





AVN 4 INCCRQONINIXOL UO) We DLO) 0) (od ek OUN EAU ON As DLodE-(1 KO)D.¢ 


Within Chopin’s circle was the French Romantic painter Eugéne Delacroix (1798-1863), whose paintings featured bold 
uses of color (see Liberty Leading the People on p. 269). In 1838 Delacroix began work on a double portrait of Chopin 
and his lover, the baroness Aurore Dudevant, best known by her pseudonymn, George Sand. In the original design, the 
painting was to show Chopin playing a piano while she sat nearby, knitting and reacting to his music. But Delacroix 
never finished the painting. After his death the canvas was cut into two portions, doubtless to raise its value. The 
Chopin portrait ended up in the Louvre in Paris, while the Sand portrait found its home in a museum in Copenhagen. 





Delacroix’s portrait of Chopin (a) and Sand (b), 1838. 


CHOPIN’S NOCTURNES AND PRELUDES 


Among Chopin’s most Romantic creations are his nocturnes, character pieces with singing melodic lines and gentle 
accompaniments that evoke night settings and dreams. One of Chopin’s most famous is the Nocturne in E-flat major, Op. 9 
No. 2 (Listening Map 40), written in 1831 for a Belgian pianist, Marie Pleyel. 

In contrast to the dream-like Nocturne in E-flat major is Chopin’s impetuous Prelude in D minor (Listening Map 41). It 
is the last of twenty-four preludes he released in 1839 as Op. 28, with one prelude for each of the twelve major and twelve 
minor keys. Chopin was not the first to compose keyboard preludes, which musicians typically used to warm up their 
fingers. Chopin’s preludes followed the example of J. S. Bach’s monumental Well-Tempered Clavier, two elaborate cycles of 
preludes and fugues in all the keys for a total of forty-eight pieces. However, Chopin’s preludes are truly Romantic 
creations. They are preludes to nothing at all, except to whatever the listener’s imagination provides. Taken individually, the 
preludes impress as short musical sketches or even unfinished fragments. Taken together, they form an enriching collection 
of nineteenth-century piano music. They are full of ever-changing styles, ranging from the simple and elemental to the 
complex and grand. One of the most dramatic, Chopin’s Prelude in D minor, reveals the uninhibited, passionate side of his 
musical personality (Listening Map 41). 


>) LISTENING MAP 4 0) 


FREDERIC CHOPIN, Nocturne in E-Flat Major for Piano, Op. 9 No. 2 
{1831} 


AUDIO: Nocturne in E-Flat Major 


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AA'BA"BA” Coda 
Andante (moderately slow) 


Piano solo 


Chopin projects a singing melody in the right hand of the pianist with supporting chords from the 
left hand. The use of the damper pedal creates soft blurs of harmonies that add to the effect of a 
nocturnal setting. 





()» why to LISTEN 


Chopin’s entrancing Nocturne in E-Flat Major illustrates the most imaginative aspects of his art. Against a gently rocking 
bass accompaniment, he places an expressive, singing melody in the soprano (4; @). Noteworthy are the progressively 
wider leaps that push the melody higher and higher until it crests and gently descends. The meter Chopin chooses for his 
composition is %, an example of compound meter, with twelve beats per measure, subdivided into four groups of three 
beats. The result is a soft, murmuring accompaniment that creates a gently flowing, liquid effect. Repeating the opening 
melody, Chopin adds variety by embellishing it( @). A second theme in a new key (B; — @)) serves only as a brief 
diversion from the original melody, which soon reappears with a fresh layer of ornamentation. The two themes continue to 
alternate before we reach the final section, an extended coda that climbs to the highest register of the piano in a 

dramatic, fortissimo climax. Now, for the first and only time, the steady, rocking accompaniment falls silent. Chopin 
indulges in a brief, brilliant cadenza before concluding with some soft chords. 


( )Jfirst LISTEN 


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(—-) 4 deeper LISTEN 


TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 








0:00 @ Singing theme in tonic key with expressive leaps, against a rocking accompaniment in the 

bass 

Andante 
Led * Led Ted Ld & Led aH Led Lod we Led # 

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0:26 @) Return of opening theme in tonic key with added ornamentation 
0:55 (3) Second theme in the soprano in a new key 

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1:27 Return of opening theme in tonic key with added ornamentation 
1:57 Return of second theme 
2:27 Return of opening theme in tonic key with new ornamentation 
3:01 Coda Melody moves to higher register, crescendo to (ff, with the melody appearing in octaves 


Music pauses; brilliant cadenza in the highest register of the piano, with diminuendo to PPand 
a few concluding chords 


>) LISTENING MAP 4 I 


FREDERIC CHOPIN, Prelude in D Minor for Piano, Op. 28 No. 24 
{1839} 


AUDIO: Prelude in D Minor 


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| Free, based on a melody and accompaniment developed through a variety of keys 
Allegro appassionata (Fast, passionately) 


Chopin begins with an agitated, widely spaced bass accompaniment that spins off a melody in the 
upper range of the piano. The melody is led through a succession of different keys, before culminating 
in a series of rapid descents to the low bass register. 





() why to LISTEN 


The Prelude in D Minor seems to teeter on the edge of a precipice. Several times rushing ascending scales and tumbling 
descents sweep across the keyboard. Driving the restless energy of the theme is a jagged five-note pattern in the 
accompaniment, which gives the music an unrelenting, frenzied quality ( @). Chopin begins the prelude boldly in the 
tonic D minor (_ @). He next leads the theme through a wandering series of keys, each more searching than the last. The 
tonic returns a little more than midway through the piece, with the melody now projected in stark octaves against the 
swirling accompaniment. The climax comes with a tumultuous, rapid-fire descent in doubled thirds and a triple forte stretto, 
or increase in tempo, spilling over into the coda. Three more cascading descents plummet to the bass; then, the piece ends 
decisively with three booming pitches in the deep bass. Like the Nocturne in E-Flat Major, the Prelude in D Minor lasts only 
a few moments. Chopin excelled at channeling his inspiration within relatively small musical spaces. 


( ) first LISTEN 


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(-) 4 deeper LISTEN 








TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 
0:00 @Two measures of accompaniment in bass, forte, wide leaps 

[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 
0:03 @Irregular, climbing melody in soprano 

Allegro appassionato 

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0:25 Ascending and descending runs, modulating 
0:37 Two measures of accompaniment in bass 
0:40 Melody enters in new key, modulating 
1:18 Melody in new key, now rapidly modulating, leading to 
1:45 Return of opening melody, now in octaves 
1:52 Rapid, tumbling descent in thirds 
2:17 Stretto (increase in tempo), triple forte, leading to 


Coda 
2:19 
2:37 


Three sweeping, descending runs 





Three accented, low bass notes 


36.2 Franz Liszt 


Born in Hungary, the pianist Franz Liszt (1811-1886) came from a musical family. His father played a number of 
instruments, was employed by Prince Nicholas II of the Esterhazys, and knew Haydn and Beethoven. Like many other 
composers, Liszt showed skill on the piano at an early age and was performing and composing before his teen years. In 
1822, he moved to Vienna, where, according to legend, Beethoven embraced him. Settling in Paris in 1827, Liszt 
experienced the upheaval of the July Revolution in 1830. Seeking spiritual growth in this time of political instability, he 
turned to Catholicism, and for a while attended meetings of a Utopian socialist sect. He also figured prominently in the 
artistic circle around George Sand, where he frequently encountered Chopin. 





Franz Liszt (1811-1886). 


The most decisive event for Liszt during this period was a concert given in 1831 by Paganini, whose virtuosity on the 
violin took Paris by storm. Paganini had pushed violin technique to new, unimaginable limits. Indeed, some wondered if he 
had been taught by the devil, a notion encouraged by the violinist’s gaunt, macabre appearance. Overwhelmed by Paganini’s 
playing, Liszt set out to accomplish on the piano what Paganini had on the violin. One result was a set of piano études so 
difficult that Liszt later revised them to make them more playable. He gave several of these pieces vivid titles, including 
“Eroica” (“Heroic”), “Evening Harmonies,” “Wild Hunt,” and “Mazeppa,” a keyboard rendition of the legend about a 
Cossack leader strapped by his enemies to a wild horse. 


NEN C4 INCOR @CON TN X04 1 (OE OD SVAROOOT-ONE] 


Liszt has sometimes been described as the first rock star in music history. Ken Russell’s 1975 film Lisztomania drives 
this point home by casting Roger Daltrey, the flamboyant lead singer of the Who, as Liszt. Certainly, Liszt’s charisma 
as a pianist and forceful stage personality were unlike anything the musical world had experienced. But just how did he 
transform himself into a major performing star that had such a sensational effect on his audiences? 





¢ Liszt was a pianist of unprecedented skill, able to sight read music that was too difficult for most musicians to 
play with practice. Audiences stood on their chairs to get a glimpse of Liszt’s acrobatic feats at the keyboard. 


* Instead of sharing the stage with other musicians, as was the custom, Liszt turned the spotlight on himself. He was 
the first to play solo recitals, concerts in which he appeared alone. 


¢ Liszt further heightened the focus on himself by reconfiguring the stage. Traditionally, pianists played with their 
backs to the audience, but he turned the instrument sideways so audiences viewed him from the side, in profile. 


* He played mostly by memory, adding to his allure as a Romantic musician. 


¢ Liszt always made a grand stage entrance. He typically arrived at concerts in impressive carriages and sometimes 
appeared in the dress uniform of a Hungarian military officer, with epaulets, sword, and scabbard. 


Liszt understood, as did few of his rivals, how to create a buzz around his celebrity as the virtuoso of the century. 





Audiences were driven to near-hysteria when Liszt performed, as shown in this contemporary print. 


Between 1838 and 1848, Liszt played many concerts, journeying from Spain to Russia, from Ireland to Turkey. 
Everywhere, he impressed audiences with his extraordinary skill and showmanship. Liszt was the rock star of his time, and 
he gained a cult-like following. His ardent fans fought over relics such as his discarded handkerchiefs and cigar butts, and 
the poet Heinrich Heine coined the term “Lisztomania” to describe the electrifying effect he had on audiences. Liszt’s 
repertoire included hundreds of fantasias and transcriptions for piano solo based on other composers’ works, especially 
famous arias and scenes from operas. He also composed original music, including pieces inspired by his travels in 
Switzerland and Italy (Années de Peélerinage, or Years of Pilgrimage) and a set of Hungarian rhapsodies filled with 
infectious melodies and rhythms drawn from gypsy music. 

In 1848 Liszt settled in Weimar as the court conductor. For the next several years, he wrote serious, experimental music. 
During this period he finished his magnificent piano sonata, a reply to Beethoven’s weighty sonatas, and began composing 
orchestral music. While in Weimar, Liszt promoted the music of Berlioz, Wagner (who married Liszt’s daughter Cosima in 
1870), and other progressive composers. During his later years, Liszt divided his time between Weimar, Rome (where he 
took the minor orders of the priesthood), and Budapest, where he was hailed as a Hungarian hero. Aspiring young pianists 
came from afar to study with Liszt, including American pupils who helped preserve his fiery performance style. 

Liszt’s personal life was as sensational as his music. During the 1830s he lived with the Countess Marie d’Agoult, a 
writer who used the pen name Daniel Stern and published a novel about their affair. For a few years, they lived together in 
Italy and Switzerland, occasionally returning to Paris. They had three children, but by the mid-1840s, the two had separated. 
Then, in 1847, Liszt met Carolyn Sayn-Wittgenstein, a Russian princess and prolific author. The two lived together in 
Weimar, although the princess was still married. For several years, she attempted to secure a divorce and in 1861 appealed 
directly to the pope. Her request was denied, however, and she was never able to marry Liszt. 





Countess Marie d’Agoult (pen name Daniel Stern; 1805—1876), who had three children with Liszt. 


LISZT, PETRARCH SONNET NO. 104 


Liszt once observed that music should spring from poetic ideas. His music indeed probes the mysterious relationship 
between music and non-musical subjects. A particularly compelling example is his exquisite Petrarch Sonnet No. 104 


(Listening Map 42), a piano composition with a very unusual history. Attracted in the 1840s to the love sonnets of the 
medieval Italian poet Petrarch, Liszt selected several to set as songs with piano accompaniment. He returned to the songs in 
the 1850s and converted them into pure piano compositions. Instead of having a vocalist sing Petrarch’s text with piano 
accompaniment, Liszt now relied on the piano to express the rhythms, contours, and meanings of the poetry. What began as 
a song with text became a song without text—or, rather, a song with its “text” projected by the piano. 


>) LISTENING MAP 4) 


FRANZ LISZT, Petrarch Sonnet No. 104 
{1858} 


AUDIO: Petrarch Sonnet No. 104 


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Modified strophic setting, with introduction, three strophes, and coda 
Quadruple (C) 
Agitato assai (very agitated) in the introduction, Adagio in the three strophes and coda 


Liszt’s composition is a piano arrangement of a song composed earlier for voice and piano on the text 
of Petrarch’s Sonnet No. 104. The core of the piano version has three statements of a lyrical theme, 
modified with changes in accompaniment and the addition of virtuoso cadenzas. Petrarch’s text appears 
separately, printed before the music. 





() why to LISTEN 


Petrarch’s poem concerns his unfulfilled, platonic love for a married noble woman named Laura. Like Petrarch, Liszt 
struggled with earthly and spiritual desires. To interpret the poem at the piano, the composer opted for a modified strophic 
arrangement. The dramatic introduction abruptly throws us into the composer’s emotional world. It presents two contrasting 
types of music, Liszt’s means of illustrating Petrarch’s paradoxes. Initially marked Very Agitated (Agitato assai), the 
introduction begins with a highly dissonant rising passage ( @)). It then crescendos to the exact opposite: a 
dreamy Adagio that slowly descends through a ritard (| @) to prepare us for the main theme (4,  @)). Stated simply, with 
discrete rolled chords as the accompaniment, the lyrical theme divides into two parts, heard in the tenor and soprano 
registers ( @). Two brilliant extended repetitions of the theme follow (A4’ and A"), each allowing Liszt to take full 
advantage of the piano’s resources. The theme then appears in the high register, accompanied by lush, echoing arpeggiations 
in the bass. Several times Liszt interrupts the theme to display his virtuosity in cadenzas bursting with rapid passagework 
and sparkling trills ( @). The stately coda concludes the work in a more subdued style, with harmonies alternating 
ambiguously between consonant and dissonant chords (__ @)), a final allusion to Petrarch’s paradoxes. 


( ) first LISTEN 


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«—-) 2 deeper LISTEN 


TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 






@ Agitato assai (Very agitated)—1ising, dissonant, accented passage 
0:08 
0:29 


@) Adagio—dreamy passage, ritard 





(3) First statement of theme 


1:10 
1:34 
2:19 
2:31 


3:34 


4:26 





Strophe 3 
A” 


Coda 


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alan * Bo 2. # 

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@ Theme continues in tenor register 

Theme repeated in soprano, against arpeggiations in bass 

Cadenza 


G) Another statement of the theme, #., marked “very passionately,” with cadenza-like 
interruptions 


Theme extended, cadenza and pause 


@) In a stately style, alternating consonant and dissonant harmonies 


36.3 Fanny Hensel 


Another virtuoso pianist-composer, Fanny Hensel (1805-1847), worked well apart from the public glare of Liszt’s 
international career. Granddaughter of the eighteenth-century Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, she was the elder 
sister of Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. Like her brother, Hensel was a child prodigy. She excelled in composing gem-like 
songs and short character pieces for piano, many of which, including her Allegretto grazioso in E major, are song-like in 
nature. She also produced substantial piano sonatas, chamber music, cantatas for chorus and orchestra, and an overture for 
orchestra. Her catalogue of music, mostly unknown until late in the twentieth century, runs to well over 400 compositions. 





Fanny Hensel (1805-1847). 


Video 36.1: Fanny Hensel, the Other Mendelssohn. What were some of the problems faced by female composers in the nineteenth 
century? Why didn’t more women compose and perform their own works? Using Fanny Hensel as an example, Larry Todd discusses these 
issues as well as bringing a special focus to Felix Mendelssohn’s talented sister, who nonetheless did not receive the attention or fame during 
her lifetime that he enjoyed. 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. | 


Unlike Clara Schumann, who hailed from a middle-class family and pursued a public career, Fanny Hensel was a 
member of the leisured upper class. She expected that music would be only part of her private domestic life. For many years 
she composed for her immediate circle, without plans to publish her music. (A few of her songs were silently incorporated 
into her brother’s song collections, while a few others appeared anonymously.) But she did find an outlet for her creative 
energies in the music room of the family’s Berlin residence, where 200 guests might gather to hear her concerts. 
Contemporary accounts describe Hensel’s brilliance as a pianist, and her concerts were attended by celebrities such as Franz 
Liszt, the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, and, of course, her brother. In 1846, Hensel began publishing selected 
works, only to die tragically of a stroke in 1847. The bulk of her music then disappeared from public view for well over a 
century. 

Although she did not appear on the concert stages of Europe, Hensel cultivated a refined musical taste. Her three favorite 
composers were J. S. Bach, Beethoven, and her brother, so she named her son Sebastian Ludwig Felix Hensel. She enjoyed 
debating with her brother the finer points of his scores, and her letters are filled with insightful critiques of the European 
concert scene. Her comments could be pithy yet also telling. She admired Chopin’s music but wished that the frail musician 
could “bite back.” She compared Paganini to a wild genius with the “appearance of a crazed murderer, and the movement of 
a monkey.” An English friend of Hensel maintained that she felt far more than she said. Indeed, Hensel’s music provided the 
release for a musical genius whose creativity was suppressed by the society of her time. 


HENSEL, “IL SALTARELLO ROMANO” (“THE ROMAN SALTARELLO”) IN A MINOR, 
OP. 6 NO. 4 


A vivid example of Hensel’s virtuoso style is “The Roman Saltarello,” inspired by her visit to Italy in 1841 (Listening Map 
43). The saltarello is a lively Italian folk dance in a fast triple meter, native to Naples. The dance spread to other regions of 
Italy, including Rome, where Hensel encountered it. A few years before Hensel wrote her piece, her brother incorporated a 
noisy saltarello into the finale of his “Italian” Symphony. He used the same key that his sister chose—A minor. 


>) LISTENING MAP 43 


FANNY HENSEL, “I] Saltarello Romano” (“The Roman Saltarello”) in A Minor, Op. 6 


No. 4 
{1841} 


AUDIO: “Il Saltarello Romano” 


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Free, based on three statements of a dance melody 


Allegro molto (very fast) 


After a brief introduction, the dance gets under way with small leaps in the dance tune supported by 
crisp chords in the bass. There are three statements of the tune. The second is extended by 
excursions to different keys, while the third increases the tempo, propelling the music to a spirited 
ending. 





(@) why to LISTEN 


The whirling contours of a single theme form the basis for the entire composition. Beginning in the tonic, Hensel leads the 
dizzying dance through various keys before returning to the tonic key and the theme, now marked at a faster tempo. The 
accelerating coda, filled with zesty dissonances, brings this delectable imitation of folk music to a rousing conclusion. 


( ) first LISTEN 


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«-) 4 deeper LISTEN 





TIME NY Os UO) LISTEN FOR THIS 
0:00 
0:05 First statement of theme A in tonic 
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0:30 Second statement of A in tonic 
0:44 A led through a succession of different keys 
0:59 Theme A in the dominant 
2:01 Piu presto, third statement of A in tonic 
2323 Continuing to accelerate 


check your KNOWLEDGE 36 


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36.1 
36.2 
36.3 
36.4 


PL 


Chapter 36 Quiz 


CHAPTER 


Orchestral Music 


Virtuosos such as Liszt showed that the piano could simulate the sounds and gestures of an entire orchestra. However, 
Romantic composers also searched for new ways to compose for real orchestras. The modern orchestra as we know it came 
of age in the nineteenth century. The works of two of the major orchestral composers show the progression of Romantic 
orchestral music. The German Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy developed a refined brand of Romanticism that retained ties to 
the Classical style, while the Frenchman Hector Berlioz took musical Romanticism to a new extreme level of expression. 

The nineteenth century saw the transformation of the orchestra. The Classical orchestra had been relatively small, with a 
modest number of woodwinds, brass, and strings organized into distinct groups. During the nineteenth century, the orchestra 
grew into a much larger, more versatile ensemble, with the size and makeup we know today. This expanded orchestra 
offered Romantic composers a much wider spectrum of instrumental colors. 

Orchestration—the art of scoring music for an orchestra—achieved new recognition. In 1843 Berlioz wrote a treatise on 
the topic. Among its more fanciful ideas, the French composer touted creating an orchestra with 467 instrumentalists and a 
360-member chorus, for a total of 827 musicians. It might have 120 violins, many times the number available to Haydn. And 
it might exploit new instruments and new combinations of familiar instruments, such as 30 pianos accompanied by bells and 
other percussion. Never realized by the composer, Berlioz’s vision reflected a bold view of the orchestra as its own 
instrument capable of a range of new effects inconceivable to earlier composers. 














iene ii 


‘eal 


Orchestral concert at Covent Garden Theatre, London, 1846. The nineteenth century saw the transformation of the orchestra into a large and 
versatile ensemble. 


The growth of the orchestra created the need for someone to direct the musicians to achieve a coherent sound. This new 
figure was the orchestral conductor, who would gain importance and in many cases fame. Formerly, the concertmaster 
(typically a violinist) led the orchestra, or a musician would offer occasional cues from a keyboard instrument, as Haydn had 
in his time. But the increasing length and complexity of nineteenth-century orchestral scores demanded someone to focus on 
directing the music. The conductor now ruled over their musicians with a baton, a thin rod used to cue musicians, indicate 


changes in tempo and dynamics, and add dramatic flourishes to capture the audience’s attention. Conductors rehearsed the 
orchestra, interpreted the works to be performed, and in the process injected their own personalities into the orchestra and its 
music. 

The genre of the symphony—brought to new heights by Haydn and Mozart and then transformed and enlarged by 
Beethoven—continued to attract nineteenth-century composers. Schubert, Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Berlioz, Liszt, 
and Brahms all struggled to create works that measured up to Beethoven’s extraordinary symphonies. Many of these 
composers also favored the concert overture, a shorter, one-movement work inspired by a literary, dramatic, or other 
programmatic idea. Finally, many wrote concertos for solo instruments and orchestra, coupling the cult of the Romantic 
virtuoso soloist to the new orchestral virtuosity. 


37.1 Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy 


Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) came from a distinguished family. His grandfather, Moses Mendelssohn, was a well-known 
Jewish philosopher who had championed religious tolerance. The composer’s father was a successful banker in Berlin. In 
1816, the Mendelssohn children were baptized in the Protestant faith, and the family added a new surname, Bartholdy, to 
help assimilate them into Berlin society. Like his elder sister Fanny, Felix was a child prodigy with an acute musical ear and 
extraordinary ability. Likened to a second Mozart, he composed, played the piano, organ, violin, and viola, and conducted. 





Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809-1847). 


The young composer received an excellent education. He studied with private tutors, mingled with celebrity musicians 
and literary figures, and attended the University of Berlin. Mendelssohn was especially devoted to the music of J. S. Bach, 
who was not well known or celebrated at the time. While still a young man, in 1829, Felix conducted a performance of 
Bach’s St. Matthew Passion that helped inspire a revival of interest in Bach’s works that continues today. 

In 1825 and 1826, Mendelssohn produced his first two masterpieces, the Octet for string instruments and the Overture 
to A Midsummer Night's Dream for orchestra. In 1829, he made his debut performance in England. After the fashionable 
London concert season had ended, he spent the summer on a walking tour of Scotland. He visited Edinburgh and the 
Highlands before reaching Fingal’s Cave in the Hebrides Islands off the Western coast of Scotland. The wild Scottish terrain 
inspired one of Mendelssohn’s most Romantic works, the “Hebrides” Overture (also known as “Fingal’s Cave” Overture). 

Following his return to Berlin, Mendelssohn made a European tour, which took him to Austria, Italy, Switzerland, and 
France. In 1835, at age twenty-six, he moved to Leipzig to conduct the Gewandhaus Orchestra. Here, in the city of J. S. 
Bach, Mendelssohn oversaw public concerts performed by leading musicians of the time. He programmed contemporary 
music but also a healthy share of German music of the past—especially Bach, Handel, Mozart, and Beethoven. And he 
continued to compose critically acclaimed compositions, including the oratorio St. Paul (1836) and the Piano Trio in D 
minor, Op. 49 (1840). 


MAKING CONNECTIONS Mendelssohn as Conductor 





Besides making his mark as a composer, Mendelssohn helped popularize the modern orchestra by serving as a well- 
regarded conductor. Between 1829 and 1847, he frequently conducted the Philharmonic Society of London as well as 
large-scale music festivals in Germany and England. Near the end of his short life, he was even invited to New York, 
but was unable to make the long trip. The main post that he held from 1835 on was music director at Leipzig, which 
included leading an annual series of subscription concerts performed by the Gewandhaus Orchestra, still one of the 
premiere orchestras in the world. Founded in the eighteenth century, the orchestra originally performed in a hall used 
by clothing merchants (Gewandhaus). Under Mendelssohn’s leadership, the orchestra became one of the best 
ensembles of the time and welcomed many leading nineteenth-century musicians to its concerts. 





The original Leipzig Gewandhaus, where Mendelssohn performed, as painted by the composer. 


A cultured man, Mendelssohn wrote poetry, mastered many languages, and was an accomplished painter. He was also a 
music educator and instrumental in founding the Leipzig Conservatory of Music, which attracted students from Europe and 
abroad. Among Mendelssohn’s wide circle were Queen Victoria, the poet Goethe, the fairy-tale writer Hans Christian 
Andersen, and the composers Berlioz, Chopin, Robert and Clara Schumann, Liszt, Rossini, and Wagner. 





Lake Thun, Switzerland, as painted in watercolor by Mendelssohn (1847). 


Mendelssohn’s interest in earlier music led him to study the works of Bach and Handel. From Bach’s music, 
Mendelssohn learned the strict forms of counterpoint. From Handel’s music, Mendelssohn learned how to write for choral 
ensembles. His enthusiasm for Handel’s oratorios prompted Mendelssohn to create the oratorio Elijah (1846). He based the 
work largely on the Old Testament account in 1 Kings, and it was first performed at a music festival in Birmingham, 
England. After Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijahranks among the most successful oratorios of all time. 

Because of his reliance on earlier music, Mendelssohn is generally viewed as a Classical-Romantic composer who 
combined the best qualities of these different musical periods. Yet much of his music is highly original and fully embodies 
the Romantic spirit. His Lieder ohne Worte (Songs without Words) are inspired Romantic miniatures for piano. Two of his 
symphonies, the “Scotch” (No. 3) and “Italian” (No. 4), allude to folk music and treat the orchestra to create a painting by 
subtly blending different instrumental timbres to suggest different tints of colors. The Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64 


(1845), filled with passionate, soulful melodies and delicate gestures for the violin, is one of the great concertos for the 
instrument. Mendelssohn is at his most Romantic in his one-movement orchestral concert overtures, the most famous of 
which is the Overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream. 


MENDELSSOHN, OVERTURE TO 4A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, Op. 21 


Many Romantic composers found inspiration in Shakespeare’s tragic and comic characters and supernatural worlds of 
ghosts, elves, and magic. In 1826, when Mendelssohn was only seventeen years old, he composed what he called a “brazen 
boldness”: his Overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream (Listening Map 44). Despite its titlk—the music can be heard as an 
overture to an unwritten opera based on Shakespeare’s comedy by the same name—Mendelssohn declined to reveal a 
program for it. Instead, he left it to his listeners to imagine how his music related to the play. 

Shakespeare’s comedy unfolds around the wedding festivities of Theseus, Duke of Athens, and Hippolyta, Queen of the 
Amazons. Among their subjects are two pairs of lovers who have fled Athens for a nearby forest. The forest is also being 
visited by tradesmen who are secretly rehearsing a play for the wedding celebration, and by a hunting party of the Athenian 
royalty. 

The forest is the enchanted realm of Oberon and Titania, the estranged king and queen of the elves. Oberon has sent his 
attendant Puck to subdue Titania with a magic love potion. The potion will make her fall in love with the next being she 
encounters. Puck gives the potion to Titania and causes her to fall in love with Bottom the Weaver, one of the tradesmen 
secretly rehearsing the play. As an added twist, Puck transforms Bottom’s head into that of a donkey’s. At the same time, the 
lovers are dosed with the potion in such a way that they switch partners. Eventually, the dramatic knot is untied, affairs are 
righted, and the mortals return to Athens to join in the wedding celebrations. In the epilogue, Puck, commenting on the 
magical nature of the story, notes that the play has been “no more yielding than a dream.” 





J.N. Paton, The Reconciliation of Oberon and Titania (1847). Shakespeare’s play inspired Romantic painters as well as composers. 


Mendelssohn wrote his overture in a modified sonata form. Into this form he wove several musical ideas, including 
motives, themes, and other materials linked to the play. We can identify six ideas: 


@ Four mysterious, sustained chords, delicately scored for winds (a). Serving as a motto, these chords open the 
exposition and recapitulation, and they reappear at the conclusion. For Franz Liszt, they represented the audience 
entering a dream state and their awakening at the end of the work. In musical terms, the four chords prompt the 
remarkable motivic and thematic transformations that occur throughout the work and play on the comedy’s central 
idea of mistaken identity and metamorphosis. 

@Scurrying music for the elves (staccato, pianissimo material for the strings, in a minor key; 5). 

@Regal music for Theseus’s court (fortissimo, for full orchestra, in a major key; c). 

@Smooth, lyrical music for the mortal lovers (piano, in a major key; d). 

®Music for the boorish tradesmen (complete with an imitation of Bottom’s braying like a donkey; e). 

@Hunting calls for Theseus’s party in the forest (f). 


Listening Map 44 traces the progress of these motives through the composition. 


The development, largely based on the elves’ music (6), uses wide-ranging changes of keys to suggest the wanderings of 
the mortals in the forest. A ritard at the end of the development corresponds to a passage in the play where the exhausted 
lovers fall asleep. Then the magical four chords from the beginning (a) enter to signal the recapitulation. Its order of events 
essentially retraces the exposition, except that now Mendelssohn reserves the return of c, the music associated with the court 
of Athens, for the coda. When cappears, its former, bright regal sound is transformed into a softly scored, glowing melody. 
In the last scene of the play, the elves sneak into Theseus’s court and have the final say. Similarly, Mendelssohn’s overture 
ends with the four evocative chords of a, a last reference to the elves’ supernatural spell. 

Several years after Mendelssohn wrote his overture, the king of Prussia commissioned the composer to create additional 
music for the full play. For that occasion in 1843, he composed several new pieces, including a delicate scherzo to capture 
Titania’s fairy, ““swifter than the moon’s sphere,” and a softly lit nocturne for the lovers in the forest. 

One piece from the incidental music deserves a special mention: the popular Wedding March that Mendelssohn 
composed for Theseus and Hippolyta. This festive composition began an unanticipated afterlife in 1858, when the English 
Princess Royal married the Crown Prince of Prussia to the strains of Mendelssohn’s Wedding March. This event established 
a custom, and the piece has been played at millions of weddings ever since. 


>) LISTENING MAP 44 


FELIX MENDELSSOHN, Overture to A Midsummer Nights Dream, Op. 21 
{1826} 


AUDIO: Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream 


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Modified sonata form 
% duple meter( @) 
Allegro di molto (very fast) 


Orchestra (two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, two French horns, two trumpets, 
ophicleide [obsolete brass instrument usually replaced by a tuba], two timpani, and strings) 


Just as Shakespeare’s comedy is about transformation and metamorphosis, on many levels 
Mendelssohn’s overture plays on the idea of musical changes. Motives and themes appear in the 
overture and are constantly adapted and transformed. Mendelssohn wrote the composition in sonata 
form, but he made some adjustments to avoid conventional expectations. Chief among these 
adjustments are the four mysterious chords heard at the very beginning, at the beginning of the 
recapitulation, and finally at the very end. These chords represent the blurring of reality and 
illusion, and remind us, as does Puck in Shakespeare’s closing lines, that the play is “no more 
yielding but a dream.” 





&) why to LISTEN 


Mendelssohn’s Overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream is one of the most remarkable achievements of any musical 
prodigy. He was only seventeen when he composed what was quickly seen as a masterpiece and remains among his most 
popular works. Not even Mozart had written anything of comparable significance by that age that has stood the test of time. 
The young Mendelssohn set himself a most difficult challenge: capturing Shakespeare’s comedy in purely musical terms. He 
accomplished this task by creating distinctive types of music for the different characters: for example, for the elves, 
scurrying music; and for the lovers, a lyrical melody. And Mendelssohn prefaced and concluded his score with four soft, 
drawn-out chords, through which the audience enters and exits Shakespeare’s transformed, dream-like state. The result is 
musical magic. 


( ) first LISTEN 


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«—-) 2 deeper LISTEN 


TIME SECTION 


0:00 


0:20 


1:09 


2:18 


3:14 


3:38 





LISTEN FOR THIS 


Four sustained chords (a) 
Dynamics: soft 


Key: tonic major 
Allegro di molto 





@ Idea of mistaken identity and metamorphosis 





First theme: Elves’ music (6) pianissimo 
Texture: Staccato 
Key: Tonic minor 

5 


a laeiaa tN lla ote Ak ea i Pe al BR Pe ChE 5 ae pln ee Aide Una Mai tpatlcce | | 





@ Scurrying elves 


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Bridge: Regal Athenian music (c) 
Key: modulating (changing to a new key) 
c as 





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(3) Theseus’s court 


Second theme: Lovers’ music (d) 
Dynamics: soft 
Key: new major key 

d 





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@ Smooth, lyrical music for mortal lovers 


Tradesmen’s music (e) 
Dynamics: fortissimo 
e 





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© Braying effect for Bottom 


Closing section: Hunting calls (f) 


4:03 


6:26 


6:50 


10:09 


11:55 





Coda 





Dynamics: forte 





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@) Theseus’s hunting party in the forest 


Largely based on elves’ music (b) 
Dynamics: mainly pianissimo 

Key: modulating through several keys 
Ritard and pause 


Four sustained chords (a) 
Dynamics: soft 

Key: tonic major 

Elves’ music (b) 
Dynamics: Pianissimo 
Key: tonic minor 

Lovers music (d) 
Dynamics: piano 

Key: Tonic major 
Tradesmen’s music (e) 
Dynamics: fortissimo 
Key: Tonic major 

Elves’ Music (5), 

Regal Music, transformed (c) 
Dynamics: pianissimo 
Ritard and pause 

Four sustained chords (a) 
Dynamics: soft 

Key: tonic major 


37.2 Hector Berlioz 


The French composer Hector Berlioz (1803—1869) was born in southeastern France, near Grenoble. As a youth, he received 
musical instruction from his father, a medical doctor, and developed a lifelong interest in literature. In 1821 he was sent to 
Paris to study medicine. Repelled by the dissecting table and tiring of anatomy, he decided to become a composer despite his 
parents’ disapproval. 








Hector Berlioz (1803-1869), painted by Gustave Courbet, 1850. 


In 1826 Berlioz gained admission to the Paris Conservatory, a national music school founded during the French 
Revolution. However, he deplored the traditional curriculum of counterpoint and sacred vocal music. For three years Berlioz 
competed for the prestigious Prix de Rome, a prize originally awarded to painters but then expanded to include composers in 
1803. The prize also offered a paid residency at the French Academy in Rome. To win the prize, Berlioz had to submit an 
academic composition in a conservative style. He struggled against these restrictions on his creativity, but ultimately won 
the prize in 1830 and was sent to Italy. He met Mendelssohn while living in Rome and began finding inspiration for several 
path-breaking works later completed during the 1830s and 1840s. 


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Joi: ae 4 
ba 


‘i eked oa gaca LN) 


buh S 


a 


Nid Ml ved + adhe oo mine 


5 1 = 


inte 





Villa Medici, seat of the French Academy in Rome, where Berlioz was a resident fellow after winning the prestigious Prix de Rome in 1830. 


Berlioz’s development as a composer was arguably influenced more by his literary interests than by his studies at the 
Paris Conservatory. Unlike many composers, Berlioz was not a trained pianist. His preferred instrument was the guitar, 
although he was no virtuoso. As a boy he worshiped the Roman poet Virgil. Later, he devoured the works of Sir Walter 
Scott, Lord Byron, and other Romantic writers—all in translation, for he knew little English. Goethe’s epic 
poem Faust made a deep impression on him. He later composed a great setting based on it for orchestra, chorus, and 
soloists. He called the work The Damnation of Faust (1846), which he described as a “dramatic legend.” 

All of Berlioz’s important works have either a text or a musical program of some kind. Among his symphonies, Harold 
in Italy is based on Byron’s Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage and on Berlioz’s own experiences in Italy. Roméo et Juliette is a 
large-scale “dramatic symphony” with vocal soloists and choral forces, based on Shakespeare’s tragedy. Several orchestral 
overtures draw on Scott, Shakespeare, and Byron. Finally, Berlioz created librettos for his operas The Trojans and Béatrice 
et Bénédict based on Virgil’s The Aeneid and Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. 

In 1827 a troupe of English actors arrived in Paris to perform Shakespeare’s plays. At the time, a literary debate was 
raging between the Romantic writers, led by Victor Hugo, and the academic defenders of traditional French drama. As 
Berlioz watched the performances, he sided with Romantic writers, who viewed Shakespeare’s plays as a liberating 
alternative to French Classical drama. But there was another attraction for Berlioz: the Irish actress Harriet Smithson, who 
played Ophelia in Hamlet and Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. Berlioz resolved to marry her, although first he immortalized her 
in his revolutionary Fantastic Symphony (see Listening Map 45). After a stormy courtship, the two were married, though 
within a few years they divorced. 





Harriet Smithson, Irish actress and wife of Berlioz. 


To support himself, Berlioz became a journalist and published forceful, witty pieces of music criticism that satirized the 
shallowness of French culture and politics. In his Memoirs, an endearing account of his life, he did not hesitate to direct his 
critical gaze toward himself. 


Berlioz’s Memoirs (excerpts) 


As orchestrator and conductor, Berlioz understood the potential of the modern orchestra as did only a few of his 
contemporaries. Berlioz’s orchestra was much larger than those of the Classical period. Table 37.1, for example, summarizes 
the orchestra required by the Fantastic Symphony. 


Table 37.1 The Orchestra of Berlioz’s Fantastic Symphony (1830) 





Two flutes (second doubles on piccolo) Four horns Timpani First violins 
Two oboes (second doubles on English horn) Two cornets Bass drum Second violins 
Two clarinets Two trumpets Snare drum Violas 

Four bassoons Three trombones | Cymbals Cellos 


Two ophicleides | Bells Double bass 


| Two harps | 


* Strings are in five parts (further subdivisions employed). 


Reinforcing the paired woodwinds of the Classical orchestra are two more bassoons (for a total of four). Also, Berlioz 
occasionally calls for a piccolo and English horn, a double-reed instrument that resembles the oboe but plays in a lower 
range. He expands considerably the brass section. Four rather than two horns are required, and Berlioz calls for two cornets 
(an instrument similar to the trumpet but with a less brilliant tone), two trumpets, three trombones, and two ophicleides (a 
bass brass instrument eventually replaced by the tuba). Berlioz’s string section has five basic parts, as in Beethoven’s 
symphonies, but he frequently explores further subdivisions of the strings into many additional parts. Finally, the percussion 
emerges as a Section in its own right—along with the timpani, we find a bass drum, snare drum (a small, two-sided drum 
with wire strings stretched across the lower side), cymbals, bells, and two harps. 


Berlioz’s orchestral scores teem with new instrumental colors and special effects. He was especially adept at exploring 
the timbres of new or little-used woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments. He also coaxed new sounds from familiar 
instruments: for example, by having woodwind instruments play a glissando, or slide between pitches; by having an oboe 
play with its bell in a leather sack to produce a dull, muffled sound; or by having several timpani, tuned to different pitches, 
play dull, rumbling chords. He was constantly experimenting with subtle effects, such as writing especially sparse orchestral 
textures or requiring the violins to tap their strings with the wood of their bows to create a hollow, eerie effect. 


FANTASTIC SYMPHONY 


The sensational work that launched Berlioz’s career was the Fantastic Symphony (Symphonie fantastique, 1830). Few critics 
praised the piece, and its radical nature inspired forceful attacks from conservative listeners. The young composer declared 
that the inspiration behind this symphony, or “musical drama” as he called it, was his tormented infatuation with Harriet 
Smithson. To explain the unusual course of his symphony, he drafted a detailed movement-by-movement program, 
distributed at the premiere to the audience. From this program we learn that after an attack of lovesick despair, an artist takes 
an overdose of opium. The music represents the drug’s effects, portraying the artist’s fantasies, hallucinations, and 
nightmares. In one bold stroke, Berlioz extended instrumental music to express the most intense personal feelings and the 
subconscious depths of the mind. 

The primary musical influence on Berlioz’s symphony was Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony. Both works are 
autobiographical, and both are in five movements, instead of the customary four. Berlioz’s third movement, a slow 
movement, depicts a pastoral scene and even includes an allusion to Beethoven’s symphony by simulating the sound of 
distant thunder. Berlioz, however, stretched the limitations of the program symphony by giving his imagination free reign. 


MAKING CONNECTIONS The Romantics and Opium 


One inspiration for Fantastic Symphony may have been Thomas De Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, 
published in 1822. In that essay, De Quincey gave a frank examination of the “pleasures” and “pains” of opium, and 
specifically mentioned the role of music in his hallucinations: 





The dream commenced with a music which now I often heard in dreams—music of preparation and of 
awakening suspense ... [then] a battle, a strife, an agony, was conducting—was evolving like a great drama, or 
piece of music; with which my sympathy was the more insupportable from my confusion as to its place, its 
cause, its nature, and its possible issue.... 


Many Romantic writers experimented with opium, which was used to relieve a variety of medical conditions, 
including anxiety, dental pain, neuralgia, dysentery, and hysteria. Some writers, like Samuel Taylor Coleridge, became 
addicted to the drug. He described his famous unfinished poem, Kubla Khan, as being “composed in a sort of reverie 
brought on by two grains of opium.” Others, including John Keats, Edgar Allan Poe, and Charles Dickens, tried the 
“aspirin of the nineteenth century” from time to time. There seems little doubt that Hector Berlioz used it as well, 
although whether his Fantastic Symphony was made even more fantastic by the drug is unclear. After all, dream states, 
whether induced by opium or not, were familiar terrain of the Romantics. 





Engraving for Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem Kubla Khan, which may have been inspired by an opium dream. 


First Movement: Reveries, Passions 


The first movement expresses the artist’s malaise before meeting his beloved and his experience of love at first sight. The 
long, slow, mournful introduction gives way to a passionate Allegro movement that announces her arrival, his “volcanic” 
love for her, his fits of jealousy, and his suffering. The Allegro is loosely based on sonata form. The notable first theme plays 


a special role as the idée fixe, or “fixed idea,” a melody that recurs in every movement of the symphony to represent the 
artist’s beloved. Here is the melody in full: 


Allegro agitato e appassionato assal 
Phrase 1 





—<dolce=> cresc. POCO a poco 
mimo7| x | imez" —_———_ | : 
animez! 7A animez'— —=——_1_ retenu 


D 











ry La = si 
3 3 
Pr poco S — p sf Ts —— 
un peu a tempo 
i retenu con fuoco 
ei Ee ° 


A | a 
230 | Es 


Figure Animations: The Melody of Berlioz’s Fantastic Symphony 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. | 


This arching melody breaks into three extended phrases. The first reaches two crests; the second takes a step figure 
(bracketed in the example) and pushes it to a climax; and the third descends from the highest pitch to bring the melody to a 
cadence. 

In his notation of the idée fixe, Berlioz took pains to achieve the precise effect he had in mind. His numerous tempo 
markings include animez (“excited”), retenu (“held back’’), and a tempo con fuoco (“in tempo with energy”). There are 
numerous expression markings as well: in the first four bars alone, three crescendos, a poco sf (an accent not quite as 
heavy as a normal sforzando), and a diminuendo. All of Berlioz’s notation in the symphony was highly detailed, 
emphasizing the strong connection between the music and the ideas in the program. 


Second Movement: A Ball 


In the second movement the artist encounters his beloved at a ball. Berlioz writes, accordingly, an increasingly lively waltz 
in triple meter. Toward the middle of the movement, the idée fixe momentarily interrupts the graceful course of the waltz. 
The dance then resumes and breaks into an animated coda for the conclusion. The orchestra includes parts for at least four 
harps, and a lovely solo for the cornet. The orchestration is rich and varied, and at times creates a magical, shimmering 
effect. 


Third Movement: Pastoral Scene 


The artist now moves to the countryside, where on a lazy summer evening he listens to two shepherds piping a slow tune. 
Performing the duet are an oboe and English horn, with the oboe placed offstage to create a sense of distance. The music 


calms the artist and leads him to consider how he will woo his beloved. Birdcalls reminiscent of the slow movement of 
Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony reinforce the mood. Then the idée fixe reappears in yet another transformation, and the 
artist wonders whether he has been deceived. The melody ceases and quiet returns. After threatening rolls on timpani 
suggest distant thunder, the shepherds’ tune is heard again, and the pastoral scene ends peacefully. 


Fourth Movement: March to the Scaffold 


The last two movements depict the nightmares of the artist’s opium dream. In the fourth movement, he dreams that he has 
murdered his beloved and awaits execution for his crime. The music suggests the grim procession to the scaffold, with 
muffled brass, dull chords for the contrabass, and an insistent march-like rhythm in the timpani. A contrasting section 
features the bright, metallic sound of the full woodwind and brass, again accompanied by the thump of percussion. Near the 
end of the movement, a clarinet sounds the opening phrase of the idée fixe. However, it is rudely interrupted by 
a fortissimo chord as the guillotine falls, a grisly musical representation of decapitation. This horrifying scene concludes 
with pizzicato notes in the strings to suggest the drop of the severed head, followed by several bars of triumphant chords. 


Fifth Movement: Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath 


The symphony culminates with a massive finale. In a ghoulish hallucination, the artist imagines himself at his own funeral, 
escorted by gruesome monsters and sorcerers. The beloved appears, transformed into a witchlike harlot. Solemn bells give 
way to a medieval plainchant, the sequence Dies irae from the Requiem Mass. Then, the witches join in a round dance. For 
the final section of the movement, Berlioz combines the Dies irae and the round dance, as shown in Listening Map 45. 

The finale offers the most fantastic and wild music of the symphony. Dictating its loose, at times “chaotic” structure is 
the unusual narrative of the program. An eerie slow introduction sets the mood, with the strings divided into nine parts. 
Melodic fragments and dissonant harmonic textures appear and disappear, without stating a clear theme. These are the 
“strange noises” described in Berlioz’s program, answered by other sinister utterances. As the introduction slowly dissolves, 
we hear the idée fixe from afar. In a macabre parody of the original melody, Berlioz employs a shrill clarinet to distort it. 
Now the noble melody turns into a lively dance tune, with snap-like embellishments and added trills ( @). Turned into a 
sorceress, the beloved is wildly greeted by her companions as she takes her place at the artist’s funeral. 

In the second section of the finale, Berlioz managed to offend many French Catholics by introducing the sacred Dies 
irae into an undignified opium dream. Accompanying the chant are solemn bells, symbolizing the Church and its rituals. 
Berlioz divides the chant into three large portions: each is stated three times in successively faster notes and higher registers 
that turn the sacred chant into a caricature( @). 

For the third section, the round dance of the witches, Berlioz mocks academic counterpoint by writing a boisterous 
fugue. It ignores many of the rules he had been instructed to follow at the Paris Conservatory. Each entrance of the fugal 
subject appears against grating, syncopated chords ( (@)). The wild course of the fugue suggests the witches scurrying 
around the body of the artist. 

Berlioz concludes his symphonic nightmare by combining the dance and the Dies irae in two different keys, adding to 
the musical chaos. At one point, the violins and the violas tap their strings with the wood of the bows for a special, 
unsettling effect (col legno). The striking juxtaposition of the dance and the Dies iraeis another example of Berlioz’s 
extraordinary experimentation that many of his contemporaries found very difficult to understand. 

The first performance of the Fantastic Symphony brought swift critical responses. Robert Schumann hailed Berlioz as a 
master of the modern orchestra, although he admitted that at first glance the symphony looked like music turned upside 
down! At the other extreme, one reactionary Belgian critic labeled the symphony a “saturnalia of noise,” devoid of art. From 
the start, the Fantastic Symphony drew Berlioz into the age-old controversy of innovation versus tradition. Despite the 
critics, Berlioz’s innovations had lasting impact on symphonic music. The Fantastic Symphony’s detailed program, its free 
approach to musical form and thematic transformation, and its bold use of the modern orchestra all heavily influenced 
musical experimenters who followed. 


>) LISTENING MAP 45 


HECTOR BERLIOZ, Fantastic Symphony, Finale, “Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath” 
{1830} 


AUDIO: Fantastic Symphony, Finale 


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p | 





Free form, as suggested by the program 


Larghetto (fairly slow), Allegro (brisk) 


Orchestra (one flute, one piccolo, two oboes, two clarinets, four bassoons, four French horns, two 
trumpets, two comets, three trombones, two ophicleides, four timpani, one bass drum, snare drum, 
cymbals, two bells, two harps, and strings) 


Like Mendelssohn and other Romantic composers, Berlioz was fascinated with dreams, and he 
designed the culminating finale of his Fantastic Symphony as an especially memorable one. Its 
disjointed nature—bits of themes appear, are blurred, distorted, or caricatured in some way— 
suggested the wayward course of a dream. And the sudden intrusion of the Dies irae, a sacred chant 
from the Requiem Mass certainly familiar to French Catholics, was bound to cause confusion and, 
for many, outrage. The music is filled with special effects—double basses made to sound like 
rumbling drums, violins that tap with the wood of their bows, timpani that play chords—all 
calculated to suggest the incoherent parts of a dream, and to test and explode the boundaries of 
good taste. 





() why to LISTEN 


While Mendelssohn was reluctant to provide the program of his Overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream, Berlioz gave 
audiences one for his Fantastic Symphony. It was one thing to be able to detect elves in Mendelssohn’s music without a 
written explanation. But for a symphony about a sensitive artist who takes an overdose of opium, the composer needed to 
explain the unusual course of the music. The symphony met a stormy reception at its premiere at the Paris Conservatory. 
Most critics attacked the score for its unusual effects, considered exaggerated and beyond the limits of what music could and 
should be about. 

Regardless of how you react to Berlioz’s score, there are at least two compelling reasons to listen. First, the composer’s 
printed program set a new standard for what Romantic music could attempt to express. Second, it was a composition ahead 
of its time. Despite the initial rejection of the premiere in 1830, it was eventually accepted and welcomed into the canon of 
classical music. Today the symphony remains a standard of the concert hall. 


( ) first LISTEN 


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«—-) «deeper LISTEN 


TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 


0:00 Ic troductior Texture: Muted strings, vague thematic fragments in winds and brass 


1:19 @) Idee fixe melody, played and distorted twice by the clarinet 


Allegro 





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2:50 Bells (and hint of theme of the Round Dance) 
3:19 @) Each phrase stated three times by low winds, then speeded up in the brass 

and woodwinds in higher registers 

DIES IRAE 
J 

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4:58 
5:17 (3) Free fugue-like passage that breaks down 





FUGAL SUBJECT 





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7:09 
8:21 


9:45 Animated tempo 





check your KNOWLEDGE 37 


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37.1 
37.2 
37.3 


LP 


Chapter 37 Quiz 


CHAPTER 


Romantic Opera 


Romantic opera was a showcase of fantastic plots, spectacular stage effects, huge orchestras, and singing that 
stretched the limits of the human voice. Part of its appeal was its wide range of subjects. Craving the unusual 
and fantastic, composers chose settings ranging from Roman Gaul to Aztec Mexico, to Scotland, India, and 
Egypt. They used librettos based on ancient legends or even created their own. They searched Romantic 
novels, plays, and poetry for their inspiration. In their operas, Romantic composers emphasized the same 
influences found in other Romantic music, including the supernatural and the freedom of nature. 

One of the most popular Romantic operas was Der Freischiitz (The Freeshooter, 1821) by the German 
composer Carl Maria von Weber. The subject is the age-old tale in which a mortal makes a compact with the 
devil. Weber’s protagonist is a young hunter who accepts seven magic bullets from the devil so that he can 
win a marksmanship contest and the hand of Agathe, the daughter of the head forester. In the climactic 
scene, the devil misdirects Max’s final shot toward Agathe, who miraculously survives. The intervention of a 
hermit-like holy man leads to a happy outcome. Weber’s score teems with lyrical Romantic melodies, 
sinister dissonant chords for the devil, a chorus of unseen spirits, and radiant music for the hermit. The 
original production included special stage effects such as flaming wheels that rolled across the stage and a 
mechanical owl that flapped its wings. 





Scene from the opera Der Freischiitz (The Freeshooter, 1821) by Carl Maria von Weber. 


Another remarkable production was La Muette de Portici (The Deaf Woman of Portici), which premiered 
in Brussels in 1832. Set in seventeenth-century Italy, it told the story of an uprising against Spanish rule. Its 
climax depicted nothing less than the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. Swept up with patriotic fervor, the Belgian 
audience poured out into the streets and began a revolution that led to the independence of Belgium from 
Dutch rule. 

All these effects and plot twists required unusual and colorful music. Romantic composers rose to the 
occasion to create memorable music that equaled the excitement on the stage. Opera flourished throughout 
Europe during the nineteenth century, particularly in Italy, France, and Germany. It also succeeded in other 
regions, where distinctive national schools emerged. In each country, opera responded to Romanticism in 
different ways. 


38.1 Italian Romantic Opera 


The center of opera—Italy—had a distinguished tradition of over two centuries, and opera remained the most popular style 
of music in the nineteenth century. Most Italian composers devoted themselves to opera, writing for star singers, whose 
sensational careers dominated Italian stages. Composers shaped their operas around tuneful solo arias for these virtuosos to 
perform. They introduced these arias with recitatives and included the occasional ensemble or chorus for variety, but the 
focus remained on the star performers. Composers had little control over their operas once they reached the stage, and they 
were often cut or drastically changed, even to the point of substituting popular music from other operas to please a famous 
performer. 

At the heart of Italian opera was bel canto, a style of singing that emphasized beautiful melodic lines against unobtrusive 
orchestral accompaniments. The showcase of be/ canto was the aria. In the nineteenth century, the simple aria was 
supplanted by the double aria, which featured two parts: a slow lyrical section followed by a fast, brilliant section. Often a 
transition linked the two portions, and the entire work was labeled a cavatina. Frequently, the slow-fast cavatina was 
introduced by a recitative, yielding the common Scena e cavatina, or “scene and cavatina”: 


Recitative Cavatina 
Slow, lyrical—transition—fast, brilliant 


Typically, each principal character in an Italian opera sang at least one cavatina, which often marked the character’s first 
entrance on stage. 

The composer who established the conventions of Italian Romantic opera was Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868), creator 
of nearly forty serious and comic operas that premiered in the leading opera houses of Venice, Naples, Rome, and Milan. 
Rossini enjoyed a phenomenal popularity in Europe from about 1816 to 1830. A likeable man and a great lover of food, he 
even had culinary dishes named in his honor, such as Journedos Rossini. His comic masterpiece, // barbiere di Siviglia (The 
Barber of Seville, 1816) is filled with tuneful arias and crisp recitatives. Its rousing overture is especially celebrated. 


Q 
Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868). 


In 1824, Rossini settled in Paris, where he wrote the French opera Guillaume Tell (William Tell, 1829), with its ever 
popular, dramatic overture. Then he abruptly left the stage and took up residence in Italy before returning to Paris in 1855. 
He spent his retirement composing sacred music and lighthearted piano pieces, but produced no new operas. 

Another successful Italian opera composer was Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848). Remarkably prolific, Donizetti 
completed over seventy operas. It was said that he could turn out a new opera in a week or two, and cartoons of the time 
often showed him writing music on two sheets of paper, working with both hands. Among his most successful operas 
is Lucia di Lammermoor (1835), drawn from a novel by Sir Walter Scott. 

The third leading Italian composer was Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835), who finished only ten serious operas during his 
tragically short career. His fame reached beyond Italy to France, England, and Germany. Bellini was known for 
expressively lyrical melodies that suggest the soulful elegance of Chopin. His masterpiece is Norma, which premiered in 
1831 in Milan. 


Bellini’s cavatina “Casta Diva” 


GIUSEPPE VERDI 


The dominant composer of nineteenth-century Italian opera was Giuseppe Verdi (1813—1901). He was born near Busseto, an 
area of northern Italy then under French control. By age eight, Verdi was serving as an organist at two local churches, but in 
composition, he was slow to develop. When he applied at age nineteen to study at the music conservatory in Milan, he was 
rejected for, among other reasons, being too old and not advanced enough as a pianist. 





Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901). 


Verdi had modest success with one of his early operas in Milan, although his early attempts gave little hint of what was 
to come. Indeed, one of his early operas was a total flop. His personal life was full of tragedies. Shortly after his young 
daughter and son died, his first wife died of encephalitis, inflammation of the brain. A turning point came in 1842, when he 
scored a major triumph with the opera Nabucco, based on the biblical account of Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian 
captivity. A stream of operas followed over the next ten years as Verdi turned to Schiller, Hugo, Byron, Shakespeare, and 
others for subjects. He later described this period as his time “in the galley” dedicated to developing and honing his craft. 
Reaching artistic maturity, he then produced a cluster of operas during the 1850s. Three of them remain among the most 
often performed operas today: Rigoletto (1851), I] trovatore (The Troubadour, 1853), and La traviata(The Misguided 
Woman, 1853). 

Much of Verdi’s long career—there is more than half a century between his first and last operas (1839—1893)— 
coincided with the Risorgimento (Resurgence), the great movement for the unification of Italy. After a series of small 
tremors, revolution erupted in 1848. Gradually, a unified country emerged from what had been a confusing mixture of 
separate city-states and territories, many under foreign control. Verdi was an important figure in the revolution. Several of 
his operas deal with political oppression and inspired his countrymen. In Nabucco, for instance, the captive Hebrews sing a 
chorus that many heard as a rallying cry for Italian nationalism. In fact, patriots used Verdi’s name in one of the slogans of 
the revolution, “V ittorio Emmanuel, Re D ’Jtalia” (Victor Emmanuel, King of Italy). Verdi rejoiced when the Austrians were 
driven out of Italy and replaced by a monarchy under Victor Emmanuel II in 1861; Verdi was named an honorary deputy in 
the new Italian parliament. 





Victor Emmanuel I, king of Italy (r. 1861-1878). Verdi was an important figure in Italian nationalist politics leading up to the monarch’s rule. 


A tireless advocate for the rights of composers, Verdi insisted that his operas be published in authorized versions to 
combat musical piracy. With his publisher, Ricordi, Verdi became rich by taking full advantage of new copyright laws that 
protected the interests of composers. He was a composer of international standing whose operas were performed in London, 
Paris, and, of course, throughout Italy. Notably, his opera Aidapremiered in 1871 in Cairo following the opening of the Suez 
Canal. The subject, a war between ancient Egypt and Ethiopia, inspired Verdi to create a lush musical score filled with 
pageantry and, when an opera house could afford it, even live elephants. 

For several years after Aida, Verdi withdrew from public life. He led a leisured existence on an estate in northern Italy, 
where he quietly raised livestock. But he was not yet ready to retire. Moved by the death of the patriotic Italian novelist 
Alessandro Manzoni in 1874, Verdi composed a compelling, dramatic Requiem Mass. Then, at age seventy-four in 1887, he 
unexpectedly returned to the stage in triumph with the tragedy Otello, based on Shakespeare’s play. He finished his final 


opera, Falstaff, in 1893 at age eighty. This last masterpiece was a comedy based on Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of 
Windsor and Henry IV. In each composition, Verdi continued to experiment in ways that challenged the conventions of 
Italian opera. Instead of dividing the music into distinct arias, recitatives, and ensembles, he produced long stretches of 
continuous music. The supple vocal lines of these scores often combine aria and recitative styles. Instead of the orchestra 
serving as background accompaniment to the singer, Verdi also increasingly used it as a powerful, expressive agent. 


Rigoletto 


One of his most successful operas is Rigoletto, finished in 1851, with an Italian libretto adapted from a play by Victor Hugo. 
Hugo’s play concerns the sixteenth-century French monarch Francis I, who seduces the daughter of his court jester. That 
subject was risqué enough for officials to shut the play down after its Parisian premiere in 1832. But not quite twenty years 
later Verdi returned to the banned play for the subject for one of his operas of the 1850s. In Austrian-occupied Italy, he had 
to appease the censors by moving the setting of the opera to the Renaissance Italian court of the Duke of Mantua. 

As the curtain rises on Rigoletto, we meet the duke, sung by a tenor, who woos the wives of his noblemen. When another 
nobleman accuses the duke of seducing the nobleman’s daughter, the hunchbacked court jester Rigoletto, a baritone, mocks 
the nobleman and in turn is cursed by him. 

A different side of Rigoletto emerges in a subsequent scene, when we meet his daughter Gilda, a soprano. She lives in 
seclusion, sheltered from the evils of the world by the protective jester. Eventually, Gilda is taken from Rigoletto’s home and 
deceived into falling in love with the duke. In revenge, Rigoletto hires an assassin to kill the duke and deliver the body in a 
sack. But in the end, Gilda sacrifices herself to save the duke and is murdered instead. When Rigoletto, about to throw the 
body into a river, hears the duke singing in the distance, he opens the sack to find his dying daughter. His revenge has failed 
tragically, and the curse is fulfilled. 





Costume for Rigoletto, the hunchbacked court jester, in Verdi’s 1851 opera. 


“La donna é mobile,” Rigoletto, Act HT 


What Rigoletto hears the duke singing is a reprise of “La donna ¢ mobile” (“Woman is fickle”), which is first heard in the 
opening scene of Act III (Listening Map 46). “La donna é mobile” is a canzone, a song in strophic form. When the song is 
first sung, the duke has arrived at an inn to meet the seductive sister of the assassin Rigoletto has hired to kill the duke. 
Outside the inn, Gilda and Rigoletto watch through a window, in shock and mounting rage. The orchestra begins by briefly 
previewing the duke’s memorable tune. When the duke begins singing, the full melody unfolds in short, catchy phrases in an 
irresistible, swaying triple meter. Near the melody’s end, it reaches a climactic high note. Then, refrain-like, the orchestra 
repeats the opening bars, before receding into the background for the duke’s second verse. At the song’s conclusion, the 
orchestra states the tune once again, but now in a diminuendo, as the assassin appears to ask Rigoletto whether the duke 
should live or die. The song is straightforward and simple, but calculated with unerring accuracy to promote the drama. 


Video 38.1: Watch a concert production of the aria “La donna ¢ mobile” from Rigoletto. 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. | 


>) LISTENING MAP 4 6 


GIUSEPPE VERDI, Rigoletto, Act III, Canzone, “La donna ¢ mobile” (“Woman Is 


Fickle”) 
1851} 


AUDIO: “La donna é mobile” 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 


aes song 
Allegretto (fairly brisk) 


Tenor solo and orchestra (one piccolo, two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four 
French horns, two trumpets, three trombones, tuba, and strings) 


Verdi uses the simplest means to maximum effect in this beloved number from Rigoletto. First, the 
orchestra introduces the tune, but only part of it, before pausing. Then the duke makes his entrance, 
and sings the tune twice, with a brief orchestral interlude. 





() why to LISTEN 


At the core of every Verdi opera is human conflict acted out between passionate characters. Verdi’s genius was to translate 
their dramatic collisions into engaging music, and to use vivid musical means to draw characters into sharp focus. The 
results were compelling dramas. Additionally, in keeping with the time-honored traditions of Italian opera, Verdi always 
emphasized the sheer beauty of the human voice and its expressive melodic capabilities. “La donna é mobile” is probably 
the most famous melody that he ever wrote. To prevent the premature release of what he sensed would be an instant hit, he 
did not rehearse it until the last possible moment. 


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TRANSLATION 








TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 






Orchestral introduction softly previews opening of 
melody, and briefly pauses 





0:14 First statement of the melody La donna é Woman is fickle, 


con brio 


1:04 Orchestra softly repeats opening of melody, and 


briefly pauses 
1:16 





mobile 


qual piuma al 
vento 


muta d’accento 
e di pensiero. 
Sempre un 
amabile 
leggiadro viso, 
in pianto, in 
riso, 

é menzognero. 
La donna é 
mobile, etc. 


legato ——— 
ss 


La donna é mo-bi-le qual piuma al ven-to, muta d’ac-cen- to 


E sempre 
misero 

chia lei 

Ss affida, 

chi le confida 
mal cauto il 
core! 

Pur mai non 
sentesi 

felice appieno 
chi su quell 
seno 

non liba 
amore! 

La donna é 
mobile, [etc.] 


like a wind-blown 
feather, 


she changes her 
accent 


and her thoughts. 
Always lovable 
and a pretty face, 
weeping or 
laughing, 

she lies. 


Woman is fickle, 
etc. 





e di pen 


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Wretched always, 
he 


who believes in 
her, 

who recklessly 
confides 

his heart to her! 
And yet one does 
not feel 

entirely happy 
who does not 
imbibe of love 
at that breast! 
Woman is fickle, 
[etc.] 


38.2 French Romantic Opera 


In early nineteenth-century France, operas about political prisoners struck a chord with survivors of the 
horrific upheaval of the French Revolution. Luigi Cherubini (1760—1842)—an Italian composer who 
produced successful operas in Paris before 1800—wrote several examples known as “rescue operas.” They 
derived from eighteenth-century French opera that had spoken dialogue in place of recitative, but still 
featured sung arias and choruses. Politics continued to mix with opera during the reign of Napoleon, when 
composers glorified the emperor by writing lavishly ceremonial operas. 

After Napoleon, French opera changed course. More and more, composers catered to the newly 
prosperous middle-class. This trend was especially evident during the reign of the “Citizen King,” Louis 
Philippe (r. 1830-1848), when French opera culminated in grand opera. This was opera mounted on a large 
scale, with grand historical themes, massive choruses, spectacular ballets, and impressive stage effects, such 
as depicting a shipwreck in a storm. 

Several foreign composers produced grand operas in French or were influenced by the style (Rossini’s 
Guillaume Tell of 1829 is one famous example). The leading practitioner of grand opera was the German 
Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864), who settled in Paris. Meyerbeer had a good sense of what would impress 
French audiences. Typically in five long acts, his grand operas incorporate entertaining ballets—one even 
featured roller skaters to represent an ice-skating party. Most of his operas treat historical subjects drawn 
from European history. Les Huguenots (1836), for example, concerns the persecution of French Protestants 
in the sixteenth century. 


HADRILE 
PIANO. 







* 
" 


tad pr 


+m 
~~ ve tm (ormel a peren 
MUSARD e 
Cbepnnet ) Cem e . 


ee a 


Rossini’s Guillaume Tell (William Tell, 1829) is a famous example of French grand opera. 


The Parisian bourgeoisie loved grand opera, but the art form did not endure. In fact, nineteenth-century 
France did not produce any major opera composers who could rival the stature of Verdi or Wagner. 
Nevertheless, grand opera did yield innovations in stagecraft and orchestral effects that influenced major 
composers such as Verdi in Italy and Wagner in Germany. 


38.3 German Romantic Opera 


Before the Romantic era, Germany had no well-established operatic traditions, unlike Italy and France. Mozart had created a 
German masterpiece in his Magic Flute (1791), but he favored Italian opera. Beethoven managed to complete only one 
opera, Fidelio (1805), which cost him enormous effort. Although written in German, Fidelio is influenced by the French 
rescue opera, and its libretto is a translation of a French source. 

German Romantic opera emerged during the opening decades of the nineteenth century. It was a further development of 
the singspiel, a type of German opera with spoken dialogue that Mozart had perfected in The Magic Flute. After Mozart, 
Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826) had great success with the 1821 premiere of his Romantic opera Der Freischiitz. 
Performed throughout Europe, Der Freischiitz was one of the most important early German Romantic operas. It influenced 
many composers, including Wagner. 


RICHARD WAGNER 


No composer of the nineteenth century commanded at once greater fame and notoriety than Richard Wagner (1813-1883). 
He created revolutionary new operas that ran to several hours and employed enormous orchestral and theatrical resources. 
Wagner usually created his own librettos. He wrote pointed essays to promote his new ideas about music and art, which his 
admirers and detractors alike labeled the “Music of the Future.” A great innovator in his bold use of chromatic harmony, 
Wagner pushed the traditional tonal system closer to its breaking point than ever before. 





Richard Wagner (1813-1883). 


Wagner’s life was as controversial as his music. Hounded by creditors, he accepted money from friends even though he 
could not repay them. He had affairs with his supporters’ wives. German authorities regarded him as a subversive who 
associated with anarchists. 

Born in Leipzig, Wagner displayed early on interests in music and the theater, and tried his hand at writing a play which 
he considered setting to music. Heavily influenced by Beethoven, he also composed an early symphony, which was largely 
forgotten after a handful of public performances. Wagner’s career began modestly enough, with several minor posts 
directing opera in Germany and in what is now Latvia, but to evade his creditors, he moved to Paris in 1839. Seeking to 
capitalize on the popularity of grand opera, he wrote Rienzi, or the Last Consul of Rome (1842), a sprawling five-act opera 
no one in Paris was willing to produce. Instead, Wagner returned to Germany to oversee the opera’s premiere. Rienzi was a 
tremendous success, and Wagner followed it with a series of operas that shared themes such as redemption and drew their 
plots from mythology. These operas included several frequently performed today, such as Der fliegende Holldnder (The 
Flying Dutchman, 1843), Tannhduser (1845), and Lohengrin (1850). 

Lohengrin was premiered in Weimar with Liszt as conductor. Wagner was not present, however, having fled Germany on 
account of his role in the Dresden revolution of 1849. He spent the next several years exiled in Switzerland, writing essays 
about music, drama, and politics, including an anti-Semitic attack on Mendelssohn and Meyerbeer. During this time he also 
planned his gargantuan cycle of four operas, Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung), which required more than 
a quarter of a century to bring to completion (1848-1876). 

In his essays, Wagner examined the historical development of opera and set down his vision for the music of the future. 
For Wagner, opera was a serious art form originally conceived as drama set to music, with deep roots stretching back to the 
tragedies of Greek antiquity. But Wagner believed that opera had deviated from its role as high art, that it had been corrupted 


by the vanity of virtuoso singers and empty stage spectacles. In his new operas, Wagner wanted to reverse those 
developments in order to restore the dramatic integrity of opera. He would create works—music dramas, as he called them 
—unified in every respect toward a dramatic end. The music, libretto, stage design, and other ingredients would all 
contribute to what Wagner’s circle labeled the Gesamtkunstwerk, or “total art work.” Wagner would realize this vision in 
the dramas of The Ring. 

While shaping these theories, Wagner interrupted work on The Ring to compose two other major works. The 
first, Tristan und Isolde (1865), is based on a medieval romance from Arthurian legends and was heavily influenced by 
Wagner’s reading of German philosophy. Tristan and Isolde contains some of Wagner’s most experimental music and 
challenged the conventions of opera with its free-ranging chromatic lines, thick orchestral textures, complex networks of 
motives, and long stretches of continuous music. The second major work was his sole comic opera, Die Meistersinger von 
Miirnberg (The Mastersingers of Nuremberg, 1865), which portrays a sixteenth-century singers’ guild. The plot sets a young 
knight’s musical genius against critics who disapprove of his innovative art—and, by extension, of Wagner’s reform of 
opera. 





Set design for Wagner’s sole comic opera, Die Meistersinger von Niirnberg (The Mastersingers of Nuremberg, 1865). 


In Wagner’s dramas, libretto and music combine in a continuous melodic flow, with none of the traditional breaks then 
common in Italian and French operas. Instead of dividing the drama between independent numbers, Wagner employed free 
“poetic-musical periods” of various lengths, each with its own complex character. The orchestra does not just accompany 
the singers but achieves its own dramatic power reminiscent of Beethoven’s symphonies. Wagner’s vocal lines are fully 
woven into the orchestral sound, and all musical elements act together to fulfill the overriding demands of the drama. 

One of Wagner’s major contributions was to enlarge the orchestra. He increased considerably the number of strings, and 
actually specified the number of violins, violas, and so on that he required. Instead of pairs of woodwinds, he wrote for triple 
and even quadruple woodwinds. He enlarged the brass section even more dramatically, calling for as many as eight horns 
in The Ring, four of which were specially designed and known as “Wagner tubas.” Wagner was one of the first orchestral 
composers to exploit the tuba, a bass instrument that strengthened the lower range of the brass ensemble. Finally, he 
introduced elaborate parts for harps (the Ring cycle generally calls for six) and experimented with different percussion 
instruments. Table 38.1 gives the instrumentation of Das Rheingold, the first drama of The Ring; a comparison with the 
charts on pp. 220 and 323 sets Wagner’s expansion of the orchestra in perspective. 


Table 38.1 The Orchestra of Wagner’s Das Rheingold (1854) 


Three flutes (third Eight French horns Four timpani Sixteen first violins 
flute doubles as second 


piccolo) 
One piccolo Four “Wagner” tubas | Triangle Sixteen second violins 
(tenor and bass, alter- 
nating with four of the 
horns) 
Three oboes One contrabass tuba Cymbals Twelve violas 
One English horn Three trumpets Bass drum Twelve cellos 
(doubles as fourth 
oboe) 
Three clarinets One bass trumpet Gong Eight double basses 
One bass clarinet Three trombones Sixteen anvils of vari- 


ous sizes on stage 


One contrabass Six harps (seventh on 
trombone stage) 


Three bassoons 





Another major contribution of Wagner was his new approach to text setting. By writing his own librettos, Wagner did 
away with the traditional division of labor between librettist and composer, and retained complete control over the finished 
work. He preferred a flexible, free type of verse, with varying stresses per line. He also preferred repetitions of similar 
syllables or vowels rather than rhymes at the end of the lines. 

To help unify his colossal scores, Wagner used an elaborate system of short musical motives, each of which was 
connected to some character or element in the drama. The term leitmotif (“leading motive”) is generally applied to 
Wagner’s motives, although the composer did not invent the term. Other composers had employed similar techniques before 
Wagner. For example, Mendelssohn used specific motives in his Overture to A Midsummer Night’ Dream (Listening Map 
44), and Berlioz wove a recurring melody into all five movements of his Fantastic Symphony (Listening Map 45). 
However, Wagner magnified the idea, applying dozens of leitmotifs in his dramas. Wagner’s disciples pored over his scores 
to identify prominent motives, which they gave names: for example, the “Nature,” “Curse,” and “Sword” motives. These 
motives filled the music of Wagner’s Ring. Sometimes, two or three were heard together in a way that enriched the flow of 
the music. Wagner also used his motives as a powerful psychological tool that could condition audiences to anticipate a 
particular dramatic situation or entrance of a character. Above all, Wagner’s motives gave unity to his scores, enabling him 
to tie together their musical and dramatic threads. 


Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung) 


Wagner remained in exile from Germany for more than ten years until 1860, when he received a partial amnesty. Then, in 
1864, came a dramatic reversal of fortune when he met a devoted follower, Ludwig II (r. 1864-1886), the young king of 
Bavaria. Known as “Mad King Ludwig,” this reclusive monarch lived in a fantasy world limited only by his imagination. He 
exhausted the Bavarian state treasury building Romantic medieval castles. The most famous of these is Neuschwanstein, 
which later served as the model for the castle at Disneyland. Ludwig paid Wagner’s debts and funded the construction of the 
Bayreuth (pronounced BY-roit) Festival Theater, which was specifically designed for The Ring. About 140 miles from 
Munich, it became a Wagnerian shrine in which The Ring was annually staged. Demand for tickets soon outstripped the 
supply; even today, concertgoers wait for five to ten years for tickets. 


Wagner’s Ring 


-& 
Py 
7 lee > 


Aske fa zee: atte — 





Bayreuth Festival Theater, which was specifically designed for Wagner’s Ring. 


Performed over four evenings (nearly twenty hours of music in all), The Ring comprises a prologue, Das Rheingold (The 
Rhinegold), and three weighty dramas, Die Walktire (The Valkyrie), Siegfried, and Gétterdimmerung (The Twilight of the 
Gods). After laboring for years over the libretto, drawn from Nordic mythology, Wagner spent twenty more years 
composing the scores, writing well over two thousand pages of music. 

Ever since its first performance in 1876, this great cycle has attracted its champions and critics. While the American 
Mark Twain joked that Wagner’s music was not as bad as it sounded, the English playwright George Bernard Shaw 
interpreted The Ring as an allegory that predicted the downfall of modern capitalism. The German philosopher Friedrich 
Nietzsche—a close friend of Wagner until the premiere of The Ring—may have formulated his concept of the superman 
from the work. In the twentieth century, Adolf Hitler found symbolic qualities for his Aryan race in Wagner’s superhuman 
heroes. In literature, The Ring may have influenced the fantasy novels of the Englishman J. R. R. Tolkien, including The 
Lord of the Rings. The scope and size of Wagner’s Ring were never equaled, and its musical style set a new standard that 
generations of young composers used to measure their own progress. 





MAKING CONNECTIONS Musical Cues in Wagner and Beyond 


Wagner was not the first opera composer to create musical motives that could be associated with specific characters or 
dramatic ideas—we can find them in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, for instance—but he was the first to develop them into a 
complex, sophisticated network, and to maximize their use. With his operas running up to five hours long, Wagner 
needed a way to give them shape and structure. What better way to do this than work into the music distinctive motives 
that could return periodically? These motives could either summarize for the audience dramatic action that had already 
taken place, or anticipate an event or character about to happen or appear on stage. 

This simple but powerful musical technique later became a mainstay of the Hollywood film industry, and is still in 
use today. In the epic classic Gone with the Wind (1939), Tara’s theme is indelibly associated with the Georgian 
plantation depicted in the film. Similarly, it is impossible to watch the space-fantasy classic Star Wars (1977) without 
being aware of the fanfare-like theme associated with Luke Skywalker. 


For his four dramas, Wagner used mythology instead of history because he wanted his epic cycle to have timeless 
relevance. The Ring is a universe of many levels. First, there is the uncorrupted world of nature represented by the Rhine 
River. Above, there are the gods, who inhabit a fortress called Valhalla. Deep in the earth live the Nibelungs, a dwarfish race 
ruthlessly exploited by their master, Alberich. Finally, there is the world of mortals, through whom the drama is acted out. 

The prologue, Das Rheingold, is in four continuous scenes. Containing about three hours of music, this is the shortest of 
the four works in the cycle. In the first scene, we encounter the Rhinemaidens, keepers of the gold, at the bottom of the river. 
By renouncing love, the dwarf Alberich manages to steal their treasure. The second scene transfers us to the craggy peaks 
overlooking the Rhine, where the gods have gathered. Two giants have finished building their fortress, Valhalla, and arrive 
to demand one of the goddesses as payment. But after learning that whoever possesses Rhinemaidens’ gold controls the 
universe—they settle instead for the precious metal. In the third scene, the ruler of the gods, Wotan, and the demigod of fire, 
Loge, descend to the realm of the Nibelungs, and by trickery capture Alberich, who has already used the gold to make a 
magical ring and helmet. In the concluding, fourth scene, we return to Valhalla, where the giants claim the recovered hoard 
of gold. But Alberich has cursed it, and when the giants fight over the treasure, one is slain. Ignoring this omen, the gods 
enter Valhalla over a rainbow. Das Rheingold comes to a radiant conclusion with Wagner’s music for “The Gods’ Entrance 
into Valhalla” (Listening Map 47). 


Wagner, Das Rheingold, “The Gods’ Entrance into Valhalla” 


Das Rheingold employs an elaborate network of some thirty motives. Each is associated with an idea, character, or object 
and undergoes musical changes that mirror the drama. One of the most important is the Nature motive. It is associated with 
the Rhine River and wells up from the depths of the orchestra. The motive is based on the most fundamental consonant 
harmony, the major triad. 

The giants, Nibelungs, and various gods are also caught in Wagner’s web of motives. Thus, in the final scene, when 
Donner, god of thunder, summons a storm to clear the turbulent heavens, he does so with a compact motive associated with 
his character. As the skies brighten, a rainbow appears, forming a bridge to Valhalla. Six harps now sustain a shimmering 
harmony as the Rainbow motive rises in the low strings ( @)). It, too, is based on a major triad, and appropriately 
resembles the Nature motive with which the work began. Appropriately, too, the Rainbow motive slowly rises and falls, 
forming an arch that paints in musical terms the rainbow that appears on stage. 

Next, Valhalla is given its own motive, which, solemn and measured, is heard in brass chords ( @)). Somewhat 
reassured, the gods begin their procession into the fortress. At this point, Wagner introduces the Sword motive, which 
figures prominently in the next dramas of the cycle (_ (3)). In the radiant music that concludes Das Rheingold, a trumpet 
sounds the Sword motive with penetrating brilliance. The Sword motive is also based on a major triad, making it the final 
motive in a series that includes the Rainbow and all-encompassing Nature motives. 

As the gods prepare to enter Valhalla, Loge, demigod of fire, has misgivings about their fate, and fears that they are 
rushing to their destruction. (Of course, it is his element, fire, that eventually consumes all at the end of The Twilight of the 
Gods.) Loge’s motive is accompanied by chromatic slides up the scale, suggesting licking flames (_ @). Most unsettling of 
all, drifting up to the gods from the river below is the chorus of Rhinemaidens, who lament their lost treasure ( @). 
Ignoring their plea, the gods cross the rainbow to take up residence in their magnificent new home. Das Rheingold ends with 
the orchestra restating the Valhalla, Sword, and Rainbow motives simultaneously. For the moment, the gods are secure. 

As the epic continues, Wotan, the king of the gods, as well as Alberich and others compete for control of the ring. Bound 
by contracts and treaties, Wotan must act through intermediaries. First, in The Valkyrie, Briinnhilde—one of Wotan’s warrior 
daughters—tries to save the mortal Siegmund so that he might reclaim the gold. But Siegmund has unknowingly committed 
incest with his long-separated sister Sieglinde, and so must forfeit his life. By disobeying Wotan’s command not to intervene 
to save Siegmund, Briinnhilde must give up her divinity and is put to sleep on top of a mountain, where Wotan encircles her 
with a ring of fire. In the next drama, Siegfried, son of Siegmund and Sieglinde, fashions a sword, recovers Alberich’s 
golden ring, enters the ring of fire, and awakens Briinnhilde. But in the final drama, Siegfried is slain. Reclaiming the ring, 
Brinnhilde builds his funeral pyre and kills herself by riding her horse into the flames. The banks of the Rhine overflow, and 
the ring finally returns to the Rhinemaidens, completing Wagner’s epic circle. But in the distance, Valhalla is consumed in 
an all-encompassing fire. 





Arthur Rackham, illustration of the Rhinemaidens for Wagner’s Das Rheingold (The Rhinegold), the first of four music dramas that constitute 
Wagner’s Ring. 


Wagner’s influence on music, drama, and European culture was incalculable. Wagnerian societies sprang up in Germany, 
France, and England. His music galvanized thinking about music, drama, and the arts. A large number of admirers—royalty, 
musicians, and writers among them—made pilgrimages to Bayreuth to hear his dramas. 

Many composers imitated Wagner’s lush style and use of motives. Others struggled to break free from his influence, 
such as the young French composer Debussy, intent upon exploring a radically new style of composing music. Regardless of 
the reaction to Wagner, his work was hugely significant to the course of music. His synthesis of the arts, his seamless 
musical forms, and his use of a boldly expanded orchestra all brought German musical Romanticism to its extraordinary 
culmination. And his influence deeply shaped twentieth-century popular culture. Hollywood employed film composers who 
were thoroughly trained in Wagner’s music. Finally, we may trace the idea of film prequels and sequels, of epic science 
fiction and fantasy series based on mythological characters and races (for instance, Star Wars, Star Trek, The Lord of the 
Rings) to Wagner’s monumental works. 


>) LISTENING MAP 4 7 


RICHARD WAGNER, Das Rheingold, concluding scene, “The Gods’ Entrance into 


Valhalla” 
£1854} 


AUDIO: Das Rheingold, “The Gods’ Entrance into Valhalla” 


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ian | 





Free, determined by divisions in the text, and organized musically around recurring leitmotifs. 


Various meters 
Various tempos 


Orchestra (one piccolo, three flutes, three oboes, one English horn, three clarinets, one bass clarinet, 
three bassoons, eight French horns, four tubas, one contrabass tuba, three trumpets, one bass 
trumpet, three trombones, one contrabass trombone, percussion, six harps, and strings). 


The final scene of Das Rheingold shows Wagner’s art at its most elaborate. As the gods prepare to 
enter their fortress Valhalla, we hear first the arching Rainbow motive, then the stately Valhalla 
motive, and, cutting through the lush textures, the Sword motive (anticipating dramatic action to 
come in the later music dramas of the Ring). Interrupting these three motives are Loge’s chromatic 
slides, alluding to the fire that will eventually destroy the gods, and the Rhinemaidens’ lament, with 
the observation that the gods above celebrate what is “false and rotten.” Be that as it may, the gods 
cross the rainbow to a climax of the combined Rainbow, Valhalla, and Sword motives, as the 
curtain falls. 





@) why to LISTEN 


Probably more has been written about Wagner than any other nineteenth-century celebrity, whether a musician or not. The 
scope of his achievement, culminating in the four epic music dramas of The Ring of the Nibelung, is measureless. The 
controversies surrounding his career and music seem endless as well. However one assesses him, he was a musical genius 
who redefined and stretched Western tonality to its limits, preparing the experimental music of the twentieth century. He was 
also a composer who redefined our sense of musical time. Wagner wrote epic works—both the words and the music—that 
challenged the endurance of musicians and audiences alike. He needed this expansive platform to create his mythical worlds 
and present universal themes of timeless relevance. Attending a complete performance of the Ring cycle over a number of 
days is a truly special event. 


( ) first LISTEN 


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(—-) 4 deeper LISTEN 





TIME NY Os BLO LISTEN FOR THIS TEXT TRANSLATION 
0:00 @ Arching melody rising and falling in the bass, Froh To the castle 
accompanied by six harps, strings, and high Zur Burg fiihrt leads the bridge, 
woodwinds die Briicke, light, though 
leicht, doch fest _ firm to your feet; 
eurem Fuss boldly cross 
beschreitet kiihn your fearless 
ihren path! 
schrecklosen 
Pfad! 
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0:58 @ Chordal style in the brass Wotan In the evening 
Abendlich shines 
strahlt the eye of the 
der Sonne Auge; Sun, 
in prdchtiger in a magnificent 
Glut glow 
prangt gldnzend the fortress 
die Burg. shines bright. 





Indes Morgens In the morning 


Scheine light 

muthig glittering bravely 
erschimmernd it lay 

lag sie uninhabited, 
herrenlos, nobly enticing 
hehr verlockend before me. 

vor mir. From morning’til 
Von Morgen bis evening 

Abend, in toil and 

in Muh’ und anguish 

Angst it was not 

nicht wonnig happily won! 
ward sie Night approaches 
gewonnen! before its envy, 
Es naht die may it now offer 
Nacht shelter. 


vor ihrem Neid 


biete sie 
Bergung nun. 





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3:03 ©) Rising triadic figure in the trumpet Wotan (cont’d) Sol greet the 
So griiss’ ich castle, 
die Burg, safe from fear 
sicher vor and trembling. 
Bang’ und Follow me, wife; 
Grau’n! Live with me in 
Folge mir, Valhalla! 
Frau; 
in Walhall 
wohne mit mir! 

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3:56 Fricka What means the 
Was deutet der name? 
Name? Never, it seems, 
Nie, diinkt mich, did I hear it 
hért ich ihn named. 
nennen. 

4:06 Wotan What, through 
Was miichtig der the power of fear 
Furcht my courage 
mein Muth mir conceived, 
erfand, if it lives in 
wenn siegend es triumph 
lebt, its purpose will 
leg’ es den Sinn _ be revealed to 
dir dar. you. 

(The Gods begin to cross the rainbow.) 

4:30 Loge’s Motive @ Chromatic sliding figures in the strings Loge They hasten to 

Threm Ende their end, 


eilen sie zu, 


die so stark im 
Bestehen sich 
wahnen. 

Fast schdm’ ich 
mich 

mit thnen zu 
schaffen; 

zur leckenden 
Lohe 

mich wieder zu 
wandeln, 

sptir’ ich 
lockende Lust; 
sie aufzuzehren 
die einst mich 
gezahmt, 

statt mit den 
Blinden 

bléd zu 
vergeh’n, 

und waren es 
gottlichste 
Gotter! 


Nicht dumm 
diinkte mich 
das! 
Bedenken will 
ich 8: 


wer weiss, was 
ich thu’! 


deluding 
themselves to be 
enduring, 

I am nearly 
ashamed 

to be involved 
with them, 
Ihave a strong 
urge 

to change myself 
again 

into licking 
flames 

and consume 
them all, 

who once 
controlled me 
instead of 
weakly 
perishing with 
the blind, 

even if they were 
the most divine 
gods! 


That doesn’t 
seem dumb to 
me! 

Ill ponder it. 
Who knows, 
what I will do? 





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(As he prepares to follow the Gods, the song of the 
Rhinemaidens rises up from the depths of the 





valley below.) 

5:16 @® Choral lament Rhinemaidens _Rhinegold! 
Rheingold! Rhinegold! 
Rheingold! Pure gold! 
Reines Gold! How true and 
Wie lauter und _ bright 
hell You did 
leuchtetest hold graciously shine 
du uns! upon us! 

Rhein - gold, Rhein - gold, rei - nes Gold!_ 
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5:34 Wotan What lamenting 
Welch’ Klagen do I hear? 
dringt zu mir 
her? 

5:39 Rhinemaidens For you, bright 





5:45 


5:51 


6:03 


6:34 


223 (As the Gods cross the rainbow to the fortress, the 


curtain falls.) 





check your KNOWLEDGE 38 


Um dich, du 
klares, 
wir nun klagen, 


gebt uns das 
Gold. 


Loge 
Des Rheines 
Kinder 


beklagen des 
Goldes Raub. 


Wotan 
Verwiinschte 
Nicker! 


wehre ihrem 
Geneck! 
Loge 

Thr da im 
Wasser! 

Was weint ihr 
herauf? 

Hort, was 
Wotan euch 
wiinscht! 
Glanzt nicht 
mehr 

euch Mddchen 
das Gold, 

in der Gotter 
neuem Glanze 
Sonn t euch 
selig fort an! 


Rhinemaidens 
Rheingold! 
Rheingold! 
Reines Gold! 
O leuchtete 
noch 

in der Tiefe dein 
laut’rer Tand! 
Traulich und 
treu 

ists nur in der 
Tiefe: 

falsch und feig 
ist was dort 
oben sich freut! 


one, 
we now mourn, 
give us the gold. 


The children of 
the Rhine 
lament the theft 
of the gold. 


Cursed water- 
sprites! 

Stop their 
teasing! 


You there in the 
water! 

Why do you cry 
up to us? 

Hear what Wotan 
wants from you! 
Though the gold 
no longer shines 
on you maidens, 
in the new 
radiance of the 
gods 

you will bask 
comfortably 
henceforth! 


Rhinegold! 
Rhinegold! 
Pure Gold! 

Oh if only your 
pure finery 

Still sparkled in 
the deep! 
Familiar and true 
is the gold only 
in the deep; 
false and rotten 
is what rejoices 
above! 


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38.1 
38.2 
38.3 


38.4 


FP 


Chapter 38 Quiz 


CHAPTER 


ss 


(39) 
Late-Nineteenth-Century Music 


Romanticism dominated much of the nineteenth century. However, increasingly during the second half of the 
century, two powerful forces reshaped European music and culture: 


1) Nationalism, the conscious use of elements associated with a particular nation to create patriotic 
feelings, promoted new, distinctive styles in the arts. For example, Wagner was motivated to compose 
large-scale music dramas in part because of his political views, which supported a unified Germany. 
Outside France, Italy, and Germany, where operas often reflected political agenda, nationalism also 
affected the course of music. Czechs, Slavs, Russians, Norwegians, and many others wrote music that 
defined emerging national identities. 

2) Realism threatened to overwhelm the Romantics’ faith in subjectivity with scientific, observable 
truth. Charles Dickens captured the new attitude in his character Thomas Gradgrind, a hardened 
schoolmaster who dryly says in the novel Hard Times, “Facts alone are wanted in life.” Realist 
movements in literature and painting provided alternatives to Romanticism, which was becoming less 
relevant in a modernizing, mechanizing world. 


- ee Hr 
I ‘Eup 
CRAKE 
EE CS\ Citas 
" 






Thomas Gradgrind and his two children, Louisa and Tom, from the novel Hard Times by Charles Dickens (1854). 


Nationalism and realism challenged Romanticism in the later nineteenth century. Composers such as the 
Bohemian Antonin Dvorak and Russian Modest Mussorgsky used nationalism to separate their music from 
the mainline European Romantic tradition. At the same time, some composers, such as Johannes Brahms and 
Gustav Mahler, were nostalgic for the Romantic past, even as Romanticism was on the wane. While Mahler 
lived through the first decade of the twentieth century, long enough to engage with modernism (see Part VII), 
Brahms died just three years before the end of the nineteenth. Unrestrained yet poignant, Brahms’s music 
captured the moods of a Romantic composer living in an increasingly un-Romantic age. 


39.1 Johannes Brahms 


Born in Hamburg, Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was introduced to music at an early age by his father, a musician of 
modest means. We know little about Brahms’s very early compositions, because he destroyed them as unworthy. A turning 
point for the young composer came in 1853, when Robert Schumann befriended him. In his critical writings, Schumann 
described Brahms as a “young eagle” about to soar with Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. Sadly, Schumann’s death in 1856 
cut short their friendship. 





Johannes Brahms (1833-1897). 


Brahms was an avid student of music history who imitated Classical forms and diligently studied counterpoint. Though 
Wagner declared the symphony obsolete as a genre, Brahms put enormous effort into writing symphonies of great power and 
freshness. It wasn’t until he was in his forties that he was able to complete his first symphony. Again, honoring tradition, he 
composed chamber music throughout his life, and, as one of the great pianists of the century, produced many impeccable 
works for the instrument. 

Some viewed Brahms’s music as a counterbalance to Wagner’s “music of the future” and Liszt’s commitment to 
program music. For those clinging to older values, he stood as a champion of musical conservatism, and as a composer who 
wrote what came to be known as absolute music. In Brahms’s case, this meant writing sonatas, string quartets, and 
symphonies that could be appreciated in purely musical terms, without needing programs or literary titles. However, for 
those seeking “progress” in music, Brahms became an easy target for criticism. Another more accurate view described 
Brahms’s position in music history as two-sided. On the one hand, he continued to compose in the style of German musical 
Romanticism, as had been practiced by Robert Schumann. On the other, he explored new approaches to thematic 
development with lasting influence. The twentieth-century modernist composer Armold Schoenberg (see Chapters 
40 and 41) later labeled Brahms a “progressive.” 

Appropriately, Brahms pursued most of his career in Vienna—the city of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert. 
There, during the 1860s, he won fame as a pianist and conductor. In his later years, he also premiered his major 
compositions in the city. Among them were several orchestral works, including four symphonies and four concertos. His 
most ambitious composition, written after the death of his mother, was the German Requiem (1868). It was an imposing 
work for solo singers, chorus, and orchestra, with texts drawn from the Lutheran Bible. 





Vienna in the 1870s. 


Brahms freely acknowledged his debts to Beethoven. The First Symphony (1876) contains a theme that sounds much 
like Beethoven’s famous “Ode to Joy” melody from the Ninth Symphony. When confronted with this similarity, Brahms 
replied, “Any jackass can see that.” He also found inspiration in baroque and Classical music. In some orchestral works, he 
used fixed, repeating bass patterns, as if imitating a compositional technique from the Baroque. Brahms’s works contain as 
well allusions to Handel and Haydn. 


BRAHMS, VIOLIN CONCERTO IN D MAJOR, OP. 77, THIRD MOVEMENT 


Brahms’s Violin Concerto (1879) was written for his close friend, the Austro-Hungarian violinist Joseph Joachim (1831— 
1907), one of the great virtuosos of the nineteenth century. Its three movements (fast, slow, and fast) proudly show 
its connection to Classical traditions. Brahms set his concerto in D major, the key of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto (1806), a 
work that Joachim had performed as a boy with Mendelssohn conducting. Following the Classical tradition, Brahms’s 
concerto begins with a full exposition of the thematic material for orchestra alone before the soloist dramatically enters with 
a second exposition. Similarly, in the third movement (see Listening Map 48), Brahms employed a rondo form after the 
Classical templates Mozart and Beethoven followed in their concertos. But, in a nod to Brahms’s own time, and in tribute to 
Joachim, the composer opened the finale with a theme reminiscent of Hungarian gypsy music. 





Joseph Joachim (1831-1907). 


This jovial refrain theme (4; @)) enters straightaway in the violin playing in double stops—bowing two strings 
simultaneously to produce two-note chords. The string section of the orchestra accompanies the theme with strumming, 
broken chords. Brahms splits the theme between the solo violin and orchestra, with the solo taking the lead and the orchestra 


answering. But the orchestra provides one unexpected twist by injecting accents that momentarily throw off the meter of the 
music. 

The energetic second theme (B; @) pits a forceful, rising line in the solo part against a descending line in the bass 
instruments (later reversed when the orchestra takes up the theme). When A returns, Brahms again inserts cross rhythms that 
disrupt the meter. 

The gentle third theme (C; @)) appears first in the solo violin before being played by various instruments in the 
orchestra. Then Brahms returns to B and an exuberant statement of A, yielding the overall formal scheme ABACBA. 

At this point, we expect to hear a solo cadenza. And, indeed, the composer includes one: the violinist begins to play 
triple and quadruple stops in a solo passage. But soon the orchestra reenters in a hushed backdrop to the soloist. The 
“cadenza” gradually builds in momentum, finishing in a cascading series of arpeggiations in the violin that prepare us for the 
coda. 

Shifting to a brisk tempo, this stirring, march-like conclusion offers an accelerated summary of the movement by 
revisiting A and B. Near the end, the music briefly dies down before three definitive chords mark the rousing conclusion. 


>) LISTENING MAP 48 


JOHANNES BRAHMS, Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 77, Third Movement 
{1879} 


AUDIO: Violin Concerto in D Major 


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RM Rondo (ABACBA + Coda) 


Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo vivace (fast, jocose, but not too fast) 


Solo violin and orchestra (two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four French horns, 
two trumpets, two timpani, and strings) 


Brahms constructed the finale of his violin concerto as a rondo, with the solo violin introducing the 
refrain at the outset, accompanied by the orchestra. The music is intended to suggest a Hungarian 
style of writing and performing, in homage to the Hungarian/Austrian violinist Joseph Joachim, for 
whom Brahms wrote the work. 





() why to LISTEN 


Brahms’s Violin Concerto neatly summarizes several important musical ideas from the late nineteenth century: 
1) By writing his concerto in the same key as Beethoven’s Violin Concerto (1806), and by choosing a rondo form for its 
finale, Brahms was placing his music in the Austro-German line of Classical music. 
2) By writing a concerto, Brahms reexamined the role of virtuosity in the musical culture of his time. 


3) By writing a finale that alluded to Hungarian gypsy music, Brahms was paying homage to Joseph Joachim’s ethnic 
identity but also acknowledging the forceful role of nationalism. 


( ) first LISTEN 


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«—-) «deeper LISTEN 


TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 





0:00 Refrain (tonic key) 


@) Theme in duple meter in solo violin in double stops (__ #*), answered by orchestra, which 
injects cross accents to simulate triple meter 









Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo 


Second theme (dominant key) 
@ Vigorous ascending line in solo violin( f°), answered by descending line in orchestra 





Sf energicamente 






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2:09 






Refrain (tonic key) 
Cross rhythms introduced so that the music temporarily shifts into triple meter 


Third theme (several keys) 
® Gentle theme in triple meter introduced in violin( #), then in orchestra 


¥ P dolce 


2:48 C 


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3:49 
5:03 


5:29 Cadenza Violin begins with triple and quadruple stops, then orchestra offers a light accompaniment that 
gradually builds; cascading arpeggiations in solo violin lead to ... 


Second Theme (tonic key) 
Refrain (tonic key) 





6:48 Poco piu presto (a little faster) 





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March-like restatement of A and B rising in intensity from Pp to  ; near the end the music 
dies down; three decisive f chords 





39.2 Nationalism in Music 


For the diverse populations of Europe, nationalism was a declaration of their unique political, social, and cultural identities. 
During the nineteenth century, a series of unification and liberation movements swept across the Continent and beyond, and 
promoted new national styles. By the 1870s, Germany and Italy were finally unified as countries. Earlier in the century, 
Spanish rule was overthrown in South America, while Russian rule was resisted in Poland. In the Austrian Empire, Czech, 
Hungarian, Serb, and Croat nationalists challenged the dominant Austrian government. In the United States, the doctrine of 
Manifest Destiny promoted the nation’s westward expansion to the Pacific Ocean. 

Nationalism created the idea that literature, painting, and music should reflect special national and regional characters. 
Nationalism thus spurred new interest in native folklore, dance, and poetry. Composers drew on popular folk songs and 
rhythms of national dances, and they enriched Western tonality by exploring the colorful harmonies and nonconventional 
scales of folk music. Musical nationalism arguably made its strongest impact in regions trying to break free from the 
dominant European musical centers of Germany, Austria, France, and Italy. By 1900 several new national musical styles 
were established or beginning to emerge. Two of the most striking examples were Bohemia (now the Czech Republic) and 
Russia. 


MAKING CONNECTIONS Nationalism in Art 





Just as nineteenth-century music responded to nationalism, so did nineteenth-century art. John Gast’s American 
Progress (1872) depicts the toga-clad Columbia—a popular symbol of the United States—bringing light from the east 
as settlers push doggedly westward, fulfilling the idea of Manifest Destiny. The signs of “progress” include steamships, 
Conestoga wagons, the railroad, and the telegraph wire grasped by Columbia herself. Another female iconic image, this 
one promoting the ideals of French nationalism, appears in Eugéne Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People, completed 
after the Revolution of 1830 that overthrew the monarchy of Charles X. According to reports, the artist said that 
although he had not fought for his country, he would paint for it. 





John Gast’s American Progress (1872). 


39.3 Antonin Dvorak 


Antonin Dvorak (pronounced d-VOR-shock, 1841-1904) was born in Bohemia, the Western portion of what is now the 
Czech Republic. Although then part of the Austrian Empire, Bohemia was powerfully affected by nationalism. During 
Dvorak’s youth, the leading Czech composer was Bedfich Smetana (1824-1884), whose orchestral works and operas based 
on subjects from Czech history and folklore were especially popular. 





Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904). 


In 1874 the Austrian government gave Dvorak a scholarship for music composition. Brahms served on the panel of 
judges and became Dvofrak’s friend and later arranged for the publication of Dvorak’s compositions. Dvorak often used 
popular Slavic dances as the basis of his compositions. Some examples were the dumka, a slow/fast dance; the furiant, a fast 
dance marked by strong changes between duple and triple meters; and the polka, a lively dance in duple meter. Despite these 
strong nationalist influences, Dvorak was equally capable of writing music in traditional Germanic forms, as his nine 
symphonies show. 

As Dvorak achieved international fame, he was invited to conduct his symphonies in England, and in 1892 he arrived in 
New York. There he served as director of New York’s National Conservatory of Music, established in 1885 by the socialite 
Jeanette Thurber. During Dvorak’s “American” period (1892-1895), he explored indigenous American music. He examined 
African-American spirituals and the music of American Indians, and incorporated his research into several compositions. 
Among them were chamber works, a patriotic cantata, and the composer’s ninth and final symphony, subtitled “From the 
New World,” and premiered in New York in 1893 at the recently opened Carnegie Hall. 


MAKING CONNECTIONS Jeanette Thurber and Music Patronage, Americanized 





Jeanette Meyers Thurber (1850-1946) was a wealthy American art patron who had studied music at the Paris 
Conservatory. Her principal ambition was to found an American music conservatory that could be expanded by 
opening additional branches across the country. She began by establishing the National Conservatory in New York in 
1885 and hired Dvofak to direct it. He was offered the staggering salary of $15,000 (probably 200 times his annual 
income in Bohemia) and a first-class ticket to the United States, and he was promised summers off to compose. In 
exchange, the composer agreed to direct the school, teach pupils, and give six concerts a year. Although Thurber was 
not able to expand the conservatory to other cities, her vision and generosity did enable women and African-American 
students to study at the conservatory. One of them, the baritone Harry Burleigh, introduced Dvorak to African- 
American spirituals. For his part, Dvorak composed some of his greatest music in the United States, including the 
“New World” Symphony and Cello Concerto. And he did enjoy his summers off, spending time in 1893 in a Czech 
immigrant community in Spillville, lowa. He led the conservatory for three years before returning to Bohemia in 1895. 





Jeannette Meyers Thurber, who founded the National Conservatory of Music in New York in 1885 and hired Dvorak to direct it. 


DVORAK, SYMPHONY NO. 9 (“FROM THE NEW WORLD”), SECOND MOVEMENT 


In four sizable movements, this work follows the general sequence of many nineteenth-century symphonies. Dvorak gives 
his symphony a special American character, however, by writing melodies based on folk music scales. He also used lively 
rhythms, unusual harmonies, and colorful orchestrations drawn from the music he heard while living in the United States. 
For its second and third movements, Dvorak found inspiration in The Song of Hiawatha (1855), a poem by Henry 
Wadsworth Longfellow based on North American Indian legends. 

Dvorak’s subtle second movement (Largo) contains some of his loveliest music (Listening Map 49). It begins with 
seven solemn brass chords (a), pitched in a low register and played quite softly ( sep; @). These chords slowly evolve 
before reaching the home key. They give way to the first theme, a haunting melody heard in the dark registers of an English 
horn (b; @) accompanied by muted strings. Its soothing contours derive from the pentatonic scale, which is often 
associated with folk music. Somewhat like a major scale, a pentatonic scale has two gaps, shown in the example below: 


e o> c 7 A 


Sap gap 


Figure Animations: Pentatonic Scale 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. | 


The melody Dvorak created from this scale later became popular as the spiritual “Goin’ Home,” when one of his 
students fitted this text to the music: 


Goin’ home, goin’ home, I’m a goin’ home, 
Quiet-like, some still day, I’m jes’ goin’ home. 
It’s not far, jes’ close by, 

Through an open door, 

Work all done, care laid by, 

Goin’ to fear no more. 


Dvofrak’s melody quickly spread outside concert halls, and was widely heard by non-musicians, so much so that it in effect 
acquired the status of folk music. 

When the melody concludes, the opening chords return, this time in the woodwinds. Then the strings take up the melody, 
with muted horns playing its final notes. Turning to a slightly faster tempo, Dvorak introduces the central B section with a 
new melody in a minor key (c;_ (@)). It begins with a descending figure. Next, the clarinets present a second idea that 
gently ascends and descends (d; @). Toward the end of this section, Dvorak uses imitations of birdcalls and static drone 
effects to paint a pastoral scene. Beginning simply, this passage broadens through a crescendo to a fortissimo climax. 

Now Dvorak recalls two themes from the first movement of his symphony (e, @ and f, @). Late nineteenth- 


century composers often reused the opening themes later in a work to help unify their multicmovement compositions. 


Finally, the familiar English-horn melody of A returns, and near the end of the movement, the majestic brass chords sound 
again. 


>) LISTENING MAP 49 


ANTONIN DvoRAK, Symphony No. 9 (“From the New World’), Second Movement, 
Largo 
{1893} 


AUDIO: Symphony No. 9, Second Movement 


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ABA form, bracketed by brass chords 
Quadruple (C) 
Largo (slowly) 


Orchestra (two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four French horns, two trumpets, 
three trombones, one tuba, timpani, and strings) 


The basic form of the movement is a ternary ABA, prefaced and followed by solemn brass chords. 
Before the return of A, Dvorak writes a transitional section that brings back themes from the first 
movement of the symphony. 





() why to LISTEN 


After coming to the United States, Dvorak used his art to explore the potential for a national American musical style. The 
America of 1893 was a land of immigrants, a melting pot of various nationalities. Truly “American” music would not 
emerge until the work of native composers in the twentieth century. Dvorak was the first major composer to ask: “Every 
nation has its music—there is Italian, German, French, Bohemian, Russian—why not American music?” When we listen to 
Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony, we hear a symphony of four movements that follows the outlines of many Classical 
symphonies. But prominent parts of the composition have more to do with folk music and American musical materials than 
with Classical tradition. It was Dvorak’s genius to be able to do both. 


( ) first LISTEN 


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(—-) 4 deeper LISTEN 


TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 






@ Sequence of seven long chords played by the brass section; 


a 
Largo 





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0:41 @) English horn solo (6), #, major key 


Dee} 
2:48 
4:33 


5:07 


5:58 
7:58 


8:23 


9:00 
9:27 
11:01 





Transition 








Chords (a), now in woodwinds 
Strings, horns (6), PPP 


@) Flute, oboe (c), minor key, PP 
Un poco piti mosso (A bit faster) 


c Pile 





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@ Clarinet (d), minor key, P 





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Strings, (c), (@) 
Birdcalls, Crescendoto ff. 


G) Recall of themes from first movement, e, f 
e 





A. [aa 
OP a 
— a a 











= 
— 


If 





[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 
English horn, b( #), major key 
Strings 


39.4 Russian Music 


For centuries, Russia had remained largely isolated from Europe. The first tsar to embrace Western culture was Peter the 
Great (r. 1689-1725), who as a young ruler visited Europe. He invited foreign musicians to work in his magnificent capital, 
St. Petersburg, a practice continued by Catherine the Great (r. 1762-1796). During her reign, Italian opera was in demand, 
and French was the preferred language at court. 

Some aspects of Russian life were slow to change. For centuries, the lower class of peasants, known as serfs, had been 
tied to a feudal system that required them to work the land of the elite property owners in exchange for a modest 
subsistence. Change finally came in 1861, when the Russian tsar emancipated the serfs. By this time, Russian was emerging 
as a literary language. Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837), often credited as the founder of modern Russian literature, wrote 
several influential works. His poems and plays served as the basis for several Russian operas. In later years, Pushkin 
concentrated on prose, as did a series of Russian novelists including Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881) and Alexander 
Tolstoy (1828-1910), who produced monumental, realistic novels about the Russian homeland. 





By the second half of the century, many Russian composers were turning to native musical sources instead of Western 
models. In particular, a group of five composers, the “Mighty Handful” (Auchka), set out to create a national Russian style. 
Four of them were musical amateurs: César Cui, a military engineer; Alexander Borodin, a chemist; Modest Mussorgsky, an 
army cadet; and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, a naval officer. Only one, Mily Alexeyevich Balakirev, was a professional 
musician. Partly because they lacked formal European training, they cultivated new, distinctively Russian manners in their 
compositions. 


MODEST MUSSORGSKY: PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION 


The most innovative experimenter of this group was Mussorgsky (1839-1881). Largely self-taught, he overcame 
considerable obstacles to pursue composition. An officer in the tsar’s personal regiment, Mussorgsky resigned his 
commission and took a minor position as a civil servant. Subject to bouts of alcoholism and depression, he still managed to 
produce strikingly fresh music. His masterpiece is the opera Boris Godunov (1874), which examines the mental breakdown 
of the seventeenth-century tsar. Based on a play by Pushkin, the opera unfolds in a speech-like style that propels the action 
at a powerful, relentless pace. Great choruses suggest the shifting moods of the Russian populace, and the orchestra’s 
accompaniment provides folksong-like melodies and bright touches of color. 





Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881). 





Stage design for Mussorgsky’s opera Boris Godunov (1874). 


Mussorgsky also wrote a highly original, extended piano work, Pictures at an Exhibition (1874). The distinctive title was 
intended to commemorate the painter and architect Victor Hartmann. When Hartmann died, his friends organized an 
exhibition of his paintings and drawings in St. Petersburg. Mussorgsky composed a series of fifteen short piano pieces, 
creating musical portraits of Hartmann’s art. Nearly fifty years later, in 1922, the French composer Maurice Ravel 
orchestrated Mussorgsky’s score. Ravel’s brilliant and colorful orchestral arrangement is now the most frequently performed 
version of Pictures at an Exhibition. 

The composition begins with a leisurely “Promenade,” meant to depict a spectator who strolls through the exhibition of 
Hartmann’s art. Then each movement represents an individual artwork that the spectator pauses to admire. Mussorgsky 
conjures up vivid music that brings the static artwork to life and tells musical stories. Many of these movements depict 
everyday objects or scenes Hartmann had encountered during his own travels: a Russian toy nutcracker; a rich and a poor 
Russian Jew; a clock shaped like the hut of Baba- Yaga, a witch in Russian folk tales. In Mussorgsky’s score, the promenade 
theme returns intermittently, transposed to different keys and reworked in some way, forming a series of interludes that help 
unify the composition. The final movement, “The Great Gate of Kiev” (see Listening Map 50) is stamped with a Russian 
style distinct from European influences. 


The Great Gate of Kiev 


Mussorgsky based his climactic finale on a sketch Hartmann had drawn for a monumental gate to the city of Kiev. Now the 
capital of the Ukraine, Kiev traces its roots back to the fifth century and was part of the Russian Empire when Mussorgsky 
was alive. Never realized, Hartmann’s gate was meant to commemorate an assassination attempt in 1866 in St. Petersburg on 
the tsar Alexander II. 





Mussorgsky based the finale of the piano suite Pictures at an Exhibition (1874) on a sketch by Victor Hartmann for a monumental gate to the 
city of Kiev. 


Mussorgsky’s ceremonial music is structured as ABABCA. The first part, A (| @), features brightly hued music based 
on a pentatonic melody. The melody of the next part, B ( @), is based on a Russian Orthodox hymn. This is a fitting 
choice because Kiev is considered the birthplace of Christianity in Russia. Together, the two themes suggest a procession of 
pilgrims approaching and passing under the gate’s grand arches. These two sections alternate. Then, we hear the ringing of 
the bells shown in Hartmann’s sketch, with reverberating, clashing harmonies. Now, in a surprise move, Mussorgsky recalls 
the promenade theme. A spectator no more, he ultimately identifies with Hartmann’s artwork and joins its procession. The 
movement ends with a triumphant restatement of A, realizing Hartmann’s grandiose vision of the gate. 


>) LISTENING MAP 5 0) 


MODEST MuSSORGSKY, Pictures at an Exhibition, “The Great Gate of Kiev” (1874), 


orchestrated by MAURICE RAVEL 
{1922} 


AUDIO: Pictures at an Exhibition, “The Great Gate of Kiev” 


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ABABCA 


Quadruple (C) 


Allegro 





Orchestra (one piccolo, two flutes, three oboes, two clarinets, one bass clarinet, two bassoons, one 


contrabassoon, four French horns, three trumpets, three trombones, timpani, triangle, bass drum, 
tam-tam, cymbals, glockenspiel, bells, two harps, and strings) 


For “The Great Gate of Kiev” Mussorgsky designed a rondo form. The ceremonial refrain (A) is 


heard three times. In B the composer cites a Russian Orthodox chant, and in C he brings back the 
promenade theme from the first movement. 





() why to LISTEN 


Mussorgsky is a composer well removed from European musical Romanticism. In pursuing a new kind of Russian music, he 
was responding to some of the new literary movements of his time, including realism. His Pictures at an Exhibition are 
written to be objective musical photographs of Victor Hartmann’s art works, not subjective, Romantic responses to them. 
The compositional techniques that Mussorgsky uses—pentatonic scales, unusual meters, freely applied dissonances—further 
distance his music from the mainstream European tradition. His music offered a viable alternative to Romanticism. And it 
inspired some of the early twentieth-century modernists attempting to separate themselves from the nineteenth century. 


( ) first LISTEN 


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«—-) 2 deeper LISTEN 









TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 


0:00 @ Ceremonial chordal theme with melody in top voice; brass 


Q 


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1:02 : Russian Orthodox chant, “As you are baptized in Christ,” woodwinds 
[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 
1:37 Repetition of chordal theme in brass, with faster accompanying figure in the strings 
2:10 Repetition of chant in woodwinds 
2:45 Simulation of the bells 
3:15 C Promenade theme from the first movement added in trumpet 


3:49 | Final, majestic statement of opening theme 


PYOTR IL’ YICH TCHAIKOVSKY 


If Mussorgsky’s music celebrated Russian nationalism and realism, the music of his great contemporary Pyotr IIl’yich 
Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) presented strong ties to nineteenth-century European Romanticism. Tchaikovsky was certainly 
aware of the nationalist experiments of the “Mighty Handful.” In fact, he wrote several distinctly Russian operas himself. 
Like his Russian contemporaries, Tchaikovsky used Russian folk songs and non-Western scales and harmonies. Still, 
Tchaikovsky remained outside the circle of the “Mighty Handful,” creating music much closer to Brahms than to 
Mussorgsky. 


Q 
Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893). 


Tchaikovsky showed an early aptitude for music, yet he attended the School of Jurisprudence in St. Petersburg in 
preparation for becoming a civil servant. For a while he worked as a clerk in the Ministry of Justice until 1863, when he 
resigned his post and enrolled in the newly founded St. Petersburg Conservatory. There, he received a thorough grounding in 
Western music. Later, he taught at the Moscow Conservatory. 

Tchaikovsky’s life was not a happy one. His mother’s death when he was fourteen was a severe emotional blow, and he 
struggled throughout his life to come to terms with his homosexuality. He married one of his admirers, but the marriage 


failed. For many years, he carried on a platonic relationship with Madame Nadezhda von Meck, a wealthy businesswoman 
who had inherited a railroad fortune. Devoted to the arts, she was Tchaikovsky’s patron for thirteen years, enabling him to 
resign his conservatory post and to devote himself to composition. Although they corresponded regularly, they agreed not to 
meet. Then, in 1890, without explanation, Madame von Meck withdrew her support and broke off the correspondence. 


Q 
Madame Nadezhda von Meck, Tchaikovsky’s patron for thirteen years. 


In the last few years of the composer’s life, Cambridge University honored him with a doctorate, and his music was 
performed in Europe, where it won Brahms’s admiration. In 1891, during a tour in the United States, Tchaikovsky fell into a 
deep depression and longed to return to his homeland. The melancholy of his last years is especially evident in the powerful 
slow movement of his sixth and last symphony, the “Pathétique.” He died at age fifty-three, under mysterious circumstances. 
According to one report, Tchaikovsky fell victim to cholera in St. Petersburg. According to another account, he committed 
suicide after a homosexual relationship had been exposed. 

Tchaikovsky composed six symphonies, some of which contain programmatic elements. For example, the Fourth 
concerns fate, and the Sixth (““Pathétique’’) is an intensely personal statement about life and death. Among his other works 
are a violin concerto and the First Piano Concerto, which quickly won favor after its premiere in Boston in 1875. 
Tchaikovsky also wrote music for three ballets, Swan Lake (1876), The Sleeping Beauty (1889), and the well- 
known Nutcracker (1892). 

Among Tchaikovsky’s most experimental and Romantic orchestral music are works based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and 
Juliet, The Tempest, and Hamlet, which he described as orchestral fantasies. 


Tchaikovsky, Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture 


In creating an orchestral overture about Romeo and Juliet (Listening Map 51), Tchaikovsky confronted the problem of 
relating a sonata-form movement to a Shakespeare tragedy. Rather than follow the play directly, he based his score on three 
essential elements: the “ancient grudge” of the warring Capulets and Montagues; the “star-crossed lovers,” Romeo and 
Juliet; and Friar Lawrence, who mediates between the warring families and grants the lovers a brief time together before 
their tragic end. 

Curiously, Tchaikovsky chose to begin with Friar Lawrence, although in Shakespeare’s play this character appears 
mainly in the last act. In a slow introduction, dark woodwinds play the Friar’s hymn-like melody (a; ®) in stately even 
notes. This solemn beginning yields to a dissonant passage for strings and horns, the first suggestion of conflict. Next, 
Tchaikovsky adds woodwinds and strings, and arpeggiations in the harp. Then he repeats this opening of the composition 
one pitch lower. The music gradually intensifies until it erupts in the passionate Allegro, which is the beginning of the 
exposition. 

Depicting the feud, the first passage of the exposition (b; ®) is full of conflict. The music features strong dissonances, 
clashing rhythmic figures, contrasting orchestral groups (especially winds versus strings), and cymbal crashes. With the high 
woodwinds pitted against the low strings, theme 6 traces the bitter course of the feud. 

The struggle breaks off, and Tchaikovsky introduces in the English horn and violas the celebrated lovers’ theme (c; ®). 
This peaceful music is in a major key far removed from the minor key of the feud. A subdued lyrical passage for muted 
strings (d; ®) sustains the mood of tranquility. After restating c with more instruments, Tchaikovsky quietly concludes the 
exposition with a series of gently descending chords for the harp and light orchestral accompaniment. 

The development section resumes the feud. Here Friar Lawrence’s theme confronts the feud music through a variety of 
keys. The conflict grows in intensity, and at its climax a fortissimo statement of the Friar’s theme in the trumpets prepares us 
for the recapitulation. We hear a shortened version of the feud theme (b) followed by the lovers’ theme (c). The deep 
emotions of their love are expressed through the many changes in key in this section. But the resumption of the feud shatters 
the lovers’ music, despite appearances of the Friar’s motive in the brass. A timpani roll announces their deaths, and a somber 
coda depicts their funeral procession. Here, Tchaikovsky transforms the lovers’ theme. First, it changes to become dirge-like 
before memories of the lyrical theme reappear in the high strings with soothing harp chords. Four fortissimomeasures of 
chords conclude the work with a final allusion to the “ancient grudge.” 


Q LISTENING MAP 5 I 


PYOTR TCHAIKOVSKY, Romeo and Juliet 
£1880} 


AUDIO: Romeo and Juliet 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 


Sonata form with slow introduction and coda 


Various tempos 


Orchestra (one piccolo, two flutes, two oboes, one English horn, two clarinets, two bassoons, four 


French horns, two trumpets, three trombones, one tuba, timpani, cymbals, bass drum, harp, and 
strings) 


Tchaikovsky’s symphonic fantasy uses a modified sonata form with a slow introduction and 
extended coda serving as bookends. The three main thematic ideas represent Friar Lawrence (a), 
the feuding clans of the Montagues and Capulets (5), and the lovers, Romeo and Juliet (c). 





Q why to LISTEN 


Romeo and Juliet, the tragic tale of “star-crossed lovers” from rival families, is not only one of Shakespeare’s most 
celebrated plays, but also one of the most famous love stories of all time. Little wonder that it has inspired numerous 
adaptations on stage and screen. 

For the concert hall, Hector Berlioz composed his Roméo et Juliette in 1839 as a “dramatic symphony,” with orchestra, 
vocal soloists, and choruses. In the twentieth century the Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev set the story as a ballet. What 
distinguishes Tchaikovsky’s orchestral fantasy is that it uses only an orchestra—no words, no stage sets—to tell the story of 
Shakespeare’s tragedy. In this way, his composition follows another purely orchestral rendering of a Shakespeare play, 
Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night's DreamOverture. But while Mendelssohn constructed a range of themes for the various 
characters of that play, Tchaikovsky concentrated his unforgettable music on three ideas: the feud between the families, the 
doomed love of Romeo and Juliet, and peacemaking of Friar Lawrence. Tchaikovsky’s work makes us experience 
Shakespeare’s tragedy as abstract ideas and emotions, but the result is just as powerful as any rendition of the play. 


Q first LISTEN 


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Q a deeper LISTEN 





TIME NY Os UO) LISTEN FOR THIS 
0:00 (a) (Friar Lawrence), ® chorale-like melody in winds 

Q 

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4:00 Dissonant passage for strings and horn, then woodwinds and harp; crescendo to ... 
5:06 2, (b) first theme in the tonic, depicting the feud, ® 

Q 

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6:33 Transition 
7:14 (3), (c) second theme in a new key, lovers’ music 

‘ 

[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 

7:33 @®, (| lyrical passage for muted strings 





8:19 

9:25 

10:28 
10:40 
12:43 
13:49 
15:43 
16:47 
16:56 
18:47 
19:22 





Recapitulation 


Coda 


d Muted strings 











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SSS SSS 
2 44 ee ee 

Con Ca 2 et fr] 
CEE oe! 





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[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 
(c) repeated with full scoring 

Closing passage 

Resumption of the feud, with (5) in imitation between the treble and bass 
Reintroduction of (a), s# 

(b), shortened 

(c), full scoring 

(6), resumption of feud 

Timpani roll announces the lovers’ deaths 

Funeral march, fragments of (c) against timpani stroke 

(c) in the high strings 


Timpani roll and conclusion in tonic major 


39.5 Program Music of the Later Nineteenth Century 


Much of Tchaikovsky’s orchestral music was programmatic, that is, inspired by ideas outside music, such as a legend, a 
play, or poem. This feature tied these works to the earlier experiments of European Romantics. After Berlioz’s Fantastic 
Symphony (see p. 324) and Mendelssohn’s concert overtures (see pp. 316—21), important contributions to orchestral program 
music came from Franz Liszt, who in 1848 settled in Weimar. There, he gave up his illustrious career as a piano virtuoso and 
turned wholeheartedly to composition. He wrote a bold series of orchestral works, usually in one continuous movement, that 
he termed “symphonic poems.” Liszt drew on a wide variety of subjects, including Shakespeare’s Hamlet, poems by Byron, 
Schiller, and Hugo, and the Orpheus legend. In each work a “poetic idea” determined the form and style of the music. 

Liszt’s forward-looking experiments opened up new possibilities for others to explore. One of these explorers was 
Richard Strauss (1864-1949), who worked in Germany and Austria, and lived long enough to experience the two 
cataclysmic world wars of the twentieth century. In the 1880s Strauss fell under Liszt’s influence and began to write a series 
of what he labeled tone poems, extended, one-movement orchestral works with programmatic elements. Among them 
were Don Juan, a retelling of the Don Giovanni legend, and Death and Transfiguration. Strauss’s other tone poems 
included Till Eulenspiegel’ Merry Pranks, based on German folklore; Don Quixote, based on the novel by Cervantes; and 
the grandiose Thus Spake Zarathustra, inspired by Nietzsche’s powerful philosophical work about the modern superman. 
(Its memorable opening crescendo achieved worldwide popularity when it was used in the 1968 science fiction film 200/: A 
Space Odyssey.) Strauss wed Liszt’s “poetic idea” with Classical music forms such as the sonata form, rondo, and variations. 
Then, as the century came to its close, he changed course and turned his attention to writing operas in the lush chromatic 
language of Wagner. As we shall discover, his long career would take further unexpected turns in the twentieth century (see 
p. 416). 





Richard Strauss (1864-1949). 


RICHARD STRAUSS, DEATH AND TRANSFIGURATION 


Strauss was only twenty-five when he composed Death and Transfiguration, an orchestral tone poem that offers a vision of 
the afterlife (Listening Map 52). The music describes a dying artist who, in his final hours, reviews his life. The artist is 
obsessed by his vision of an artistic Ideal, which he finally attains when his soul is transfigured at his death. 

Strauss adapted sonata form to match his ambitious program. The work begins with an extended slow introduction in a 
minor key. A quietly pulsating figure in the strings and irregular timpani strokes suggest the artist’s weak heartbeat as he lies 
on his deathbed. Gradually two motives emerge. The first (a; | @)) descends from the high woodwinds. The second (b; 

@), tenderly descends still further in the oboe and then solo violin. 

The uneasy calm gives way to an agitated Allegro, the exposition of the sonata form. In this section, the artist awakens to 

agonizing pain. To illustrate the artist’s suffering, Strauss couples an unsettling, syncopated motive in the low strings (c; 
@) with dissonant harmonies. Instead of stating a predominant theme in the exposition, Strauss propels the music forward 
through a complicated network of clashing motives. 

Cutting short this section, Strauss moves into the development, depicting a review of the artist’s life. Motive b suggests 
infancy and childhood, followed by an energetic version of a in the brass to depict youth and manhood. Now the music 
becomes more intense, illustrating the artist’s passionate striving toward the Ideal. Toward the end of the development, the 
rising theme associated with the Ideal (d; | @) finally emerges. We hear three statements of d, each in a higher key. Then, 
the slow introduction reappears, followed by an abbreviated recapitulation, returning to the artist on his deathbed. Forceful 
accents in the brass punctuate his final agony. 


The broadly conceived final section—the transfiguration—is a large-scale coda dedicated to the theme of the Ideal. The 
conclusion begins softly, with stately suggestions of d in the brass accompanied by strokes of the tam-tam, a large gong 
suspended in a frame. Gradually, Strauss adds woodwinds and strings and introduces faster rhythmic values. The theme of 
the Ideal appears several times and stretches into the upper register of the violins. In the closing bars, we hear a breathtaking 
diminuendo as this exquisite Romantic vision of the transfigured artist recedes and fades. 

At the end of his life, Strauss was haunted by his youthful tone poem. As he lay on his deathbed in 1949, he remarked 
that dying was just as he had composed it in Death and Transfiguration. 


>) LISTENING MAP 5 2 


RICHARD STRAUSS, Death and Transfiguration 
{1889} 


AUDIO: Death and Transfiguration 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 


| Modified sonata form 


Orchestra (three flutes, two oboes, one English horn, two clarinets, one bass clarinet, two bassoons, 
one contrabassoon, four French horns, three trumpets, three trombones, one tuba, timpani, tam-tam, 


two harps, and strings) 


Like Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet, Strauss’s tone poem also uses a modified sonata form, 
expanded by a slow introduction and extended coda. In addition, the slow introduction returns 
before the recapitulation, so that there are six sections: slow introduction, exposition, development, 
return of slow introduction (abridged), recapitulation, and coda. They correspond to Strauss’s 
program about an artist on his deathbed who reviews his life before dying and being transformed by 
a vision of the Ideal. 





@) why to LISTEN 


Strauss was in his twenties when he began composing orchestral tone poems. Extending Liszt’s earlier experiments in his 
symphonic poems, Strauss took the concept of program music to a new level, broadening the scope of what the orchestra 
could attempt to describe. And so, Strauss’s monumental Thus Spake Zarathustra was not only about Nietzsche’s book of 
the same title, but also about German nineteenth-century philosophy in general. In the case of Death and Transfiguration, 
Strauss created the story line about a dying artist who reviews his life before meeting death and finally attaining the artistic 
Ideal that had evaded him in life. (Realizing that this topic would be difficult to understand, Strauss asked a friend to write a 
poem that would help audiences better interpret the music’s meaning.) In the 1880s Strauss’s experiments in program music 
were considered quite daring and, for the time, modern. As you listen to the music, consider how successfully the score 
communicates the subject, and whether Strauss himself was pursuing an unattainable Ideal in his score. Music that tests the 
boundaries of what music can do almost always offers a compelling reason to listen. 


( ) first LISTEN 


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(—-) 2 deeper LISTEN 






TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 


@ The dying artist, based on two motives, (a) ... 






a= TSE TER | 





pp dolce (sweetly) 3 


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2:18 
pp Sehr zart (very tenderly) 
[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 
4:49 G) The artist awakens (agitated), motive (c); 
Tempo: allegro 
ec Allegro molto agitato (Fast, greatly agitated) 
[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 
8:34 The artist reviews his life, based on (b) and (a) 
12:47 @ Appearance of the Ideal, three statements of (d) 
d Sehr breit (Very broadly) 
[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 
14:56 The dying artist 
15:45 Last agony and death of the artist 
16:31 Transfiguration of the artist, based on (d) (expansive, tam-tam) 
GUSTAV MAHLER 


Other composers, including three active in Vienna, found individual ways to absorb the immense influence of Wagner’s 
music: 


¢ Hugo Wolf (1860—1903) devoted himself to writing intensely chromatic songs that explored the new boundaries of 
tonality established by Wagner. 


¢ Anton Bruckner (1824—1896) completed an imposing series of nine symphonies written in a densely chromatic 
language that showed Wagner’s influence. These symphonies follow the trend in late nineteenth-century music 
toward ever expanding scope and length. 


* Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) pursued a similar direction by conceiving large-scale symphonies that arguably brought 
the German symphonic tradition to its culmination. 





Gustav Mahler (1860-1911). 


While a student in Vienna, Mahler absorbed fully the music of Wagner and philosophy of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. 
Known first as a conductor, Mahler held several posts before settling down to direct the Vienna Opera from 1897 to 1907. 
He conducted during the winter seasons and then composed during his summer holidays. 

Mahler’s music reflects in detail the challenges of his tormented life. In 1897, partly to avoid discrimination against him 
because he was a Jew, he converted to Catholicism. In 1907 his elder daughter died, and a doctor diagnosed him with a heart 
condition. The victim of anti-Semitism, Mahler left Vienna to join the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1908 and the 
New York Philharmonic in 1909. He returned to Vienna, where he died in 1911. 

Mahler wrote orchestral song cycles as well as symphonies, and much of his music is best understood as a joining of the 
two genres. His symphonies are filled with warmly lyrical passages that seem to demand texts, and his song cycles feature a 
symphonic treatment of themes. Several of Mahler’s symphonies combine orchestral and vocal forces, a feature that traces 
back to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Another influence on Mahler’s compositions is the program music of Liszt and 
Strauss. Although Mahler did not compose tone poems, he based his symphonies on broadly philosophical programmatic 
concepts. The Second Symphony, in five lengthy movements, ends with a “Resurrection.” The Fourth Symphony suggests 
the progression from earth to heaven and concludes with a strophic song that details the “virtues of heavenly life.” In the 
finale of the Sixth, sometimes called the “Tragic,” three “hammer blows of fate” correspond to tragedies in the composer’s 
own life. 


In addition to nine completed symphonies, Mahler left an unfinished tenth symphony written in a provocative, forward- 
looking musical language. He also composed three major song cycles: Songs of a Wayfarer (1896), Songs on the Death of 
Children (1904), and The Song of the Earth (1909). The Song of the Earth was based on Chinese poetry of the third century 
BCE, and explored non-Western scales and harmonies. 


Songs of a Wayfarer (Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, 1896) 


Mahler wrote the texts for this song cycle himself. He drew heavily on German folk poetry and earlier song cycles for 
inspiration—in particular, on Schubert’s Winterreise, which also concerns a wanderer. But Mahler’s approach was new and 
fresh. He fully exploited a wide range of orchestral colors and instrumental combinations. Moreover, each song of the cycle 
began in one key and ended in another, suggesting the wayfarer’s restlessness and the composer’s flexible approach to tonal 
organization. 

Mahler’s first song reveals reason for the wayfarer’s wandering. He has been rejected by his lover, and he thinks of her 
on her wedding day and muses about his sorrow and the passing of spring. In the second song, the wayfarer wanders through 
dewy fields of flowers on a bright spring morning. The sun fills the world with light, contrasting with the wayfarer’s sadness 
as he struggles to regain his lost happiness. The third song is violent in mood. The wayfarer compares his grief to a dagger 
stabbing his breast. He longs to be laid upon his funeral bier, freed from agony. The fourth song represents the wanderer’s 
leave-taking from his beloved. Solemn, dirge-like music suggests a funeral procession. Then, in an exquisite conclusion, 
Mahler invokes the image of a linden tree in whose shade the wanderer finally finds solace. 

Perhaps the most celebrated of the four songs is the second (Listening Map 53). It is based on a gentle melody (a) that, 
after two initial leaps, rises up the scale. Mahler set the poem as a strophic song with four strophes but modified the music of 
the second, third, and fourth in various ways. The second strophe, for example, presents the theme in canon, with the vocal 
part leading and the cellos imitating the theme. There follows a lush orchestral interlude that departs from the tonic key of 
the opening. Strophes 3 (extended) and 4 (shortened) are each cast in a new key as the wayfarer continues on his journey. 
The final strophe, set in a slow tempo, remains incomplete, suggesting the wanderer’s uncertainty. “Will my happiness now 


return?” he asks, only to answer, “No.” The song ends with the brief emergence of a solo horn and solo violin and then a 


triple piano chord and arpeggio for the harp. 


Mahler reused some of the material from this song in his First Symphony. Indeed, many of his symphonies either quote 
his songs or allude to literary ideas. A tone-poet, Mahler achieved in works of great depth and beauty the perfect union of 


language and music. 


>) LISTENING MAP 53 


GUSTAV MAHLER, Songs of a Wayfarer, No. 2 


AUDIO: Songs of a Wayfarer, No. 2 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 


Modified strophic song 
$ duple meter( @) 
In a leisurely tempo 


Voice and orchestra (one piccolo, two flutes, two oboes, one bass clarinet, two bassoons, four 


French horns, one trumpet, timpani, triangle, bells, harp, and strings) 


The second of Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer uses a poem that he probably wrote himself. He 
crafted a modified strophic setting, in which the main tune reappears from strophe to strophe, with 
changes in orchestration and texture, then in keys, before being shortened in the fourth strophe, and 
left as a fragment in the fifth. The orchestra offers comments between the first and second, second 
and third, and third and fourth strophes. 





() why to LISTEN 


{1896} 


Mahler is one of the many composers who fell under Wagner’s influence. Although Mahler did not write music dramas, he 
did write symphonies that required huge orchestras, and he composed chromatic music that would have been unthinkable 
without the model of Wagner’s works. However, Mahler was not just a composer who brought Wagner’s ideas to the genre 
of the symphony. He was also a master of nuance and delicate instrumental timbres. The Songs of a Wayfarer are a case in 
point. In the second song, the full orchestra is rarely used. Instead, Mahler extracts various instrumental colors: solos for the 
flute or violin, for example, or the soft shimmering sound of a triangle. These are bits of musical imagery that reflect the 
images of nature in the poem. In this way, Mahler showed how the smallest orchestral gestures could also be the most telling 


and greatly add to our appreciation of the music. 


( )Jirst LISTEN 


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(-) 4 deeper LISTEN 






TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS TRANSLATION 





0:00 (a) (flute, voice, P), tonic Ging heut’ Morgen Went this morning 
major key liber 5 Feld through the fields, 

Tau noch auf den Dew still clinging to the 
Grdsern hing grass, 
Sprach zu mir der There spoke to me the 
lust’ge Fink: merry finch: 
Ei, du! Gelt? Hey, fine day, you? 
Guten Morgen! Good morning, then! 


Ei, Gelt? Du! Hey, fine day, you! 


0:38 


0:45 


1:36 


2:26 


2:37 


3:10 





Wird’s nicht eine schéne 
Welt? 

Schone Welt? Zink! 
Zink! 

Schon und flink 

Wie mir doch die Welt 
gefallt! 


a In gemichlicher Bewegung (At a comfortable pace) 


Hasn’t it turned into a 
lovely world? 

Lovely world? Chirp! 
Chirp! 

Lovely, sing! 

But how the world pleases 
me! 





Ging heut’ Mor-gen i-ber's Feld, Tau noch auf den Gri-ser hing 


[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 


crescendo to jf, diminuendo 


(a) in voice and flute, imitated by 


cello, tonic major key 


JF, then diminuendo, departure 


from tonic key 


(a) in voice and violins( PP), 


new major key 


ritard 


based on opening ofa( P), 


modulating 


Solo violin, horn, harp (PPP), new 


major key 


Auch die Glockenblum’ 
am Feld 

hat mir lustig, guter 
Ding’, 

mit den Gléckchen, 
klinge, kling, 

ihren Morgengrup 
geschellt: 

“Wird 5 nicht eine 
schone Welt? 

Kling, kling! Schénes 
Ding! 

Wie mir doch die Welt 
gefdllt! Heia!”’ 


Und da fing im 
Sonnenschein 

gleich die Welt zu 
funkeln an; 

Alles Ton und Farbe 
gewann 

Im Sonnenschein! 
Blum’ und Vogel, grop 
und klein! 

“Guten Tag, 

ists nicht eine schéne 
Welt? 

Ei, du, gelt? Schéne 
Welt!” 


Nun fangt auch mein 
Gliick wohl an? 


Nein, nein, das ich 
mein’, 
Mir nimmer bliihen 
kann! 


And the bluebells in the 
field 

merrily in good spirits 
with their little bells 
(ding, ding) 

pealed their morning 
greeting to me: 


“Isn’t the world becoming 
beautiful? 

Ding, ding! Beautiful 
thing! 

But how the world pleases 
me! He Ho!” 


And then in the sunshine 


the world suddenly began 
to sparkle; 


all gained sound and color 
In the sunshine! 


Flowers and birds, large 
and small! 


“Good day, 

Isn’t it a beautiful world? 
Hey, you, fine day? 
Lovely world!” 


Will my happiness now 
also begin? 


No, no, that I think 
can never bloom for me! 


39.6 Europe at the Close of the Century 


Throughout Europe, the last decades of the nineteenth century signaled the final stage in Romantic music, if not its eclipse. 
As early as mid-century, some French composers had begun turning away from operas on Romantic subjects to a lighter 
form of entertainment, the operetta. With their popular melodies and satirical tone, operettas were written more to entertain 
than to explore serious subjects. Later in the century, Georges Bizet’s Carmen (1875), an opera in four acts with spoken 
dialogue, offered a more sobering alternative to Romanticism: a realistic treatment of Spanish gypsy life. Bizet filled his 
sensational score with catchy, sensual melodies, including a popular dance form, the habanera. After hearing Carmen, the 
philosopher Nietzsche, who was tiring of Wagner’s heavy scores, remarked approvingly: “It is necessary to 
Mediterraneanize music.” Nietzsche, like many others, was starting to reject the heavy German style of Wagner in favor of 
something more accessible. 





Costume sketch for the title role in Bizet’s opera Carmen (1875). 


BIZET, CARMEN, HABANERA FROM ACT 1 


Fame was initially not kind to Georges Bizet (1838-1875). A talented musician who studied at the Paris Conservatory, he 
was seventeen when he wrote an impressive symphony and won the Prix de Rome, which sent him to Italy for a few years. 
But after his return, he failed to achieve a lasting success in the opera house. His masterpiece, Carmen, initially earned only 
a lukewarm reception in Paris. Just months after the premiere, Bizet died of a heart attack at thirty-seven, unaware that his 
opera would become perhaps the most popular of all time, inspiring many films, musicals, and ballets. 

Carmen is set in early nineteenth-century Spain. The title role is a young gypsy woman who possesses a raw sensuality. 
She seduces an army corporal, Don José, who deserts his post to marry her and join her circle of social outcasts and bandits. 
Soon enough Carmen leaves Don José for a bullfighter. Distraught, Don José stabs her to death. 

The premiere of Carmen shocked and scandalized many Parisian opera patrons, who were accustomed instead to operas 
with sentimental plots and graceful ballets. But opinions on the opera changed as Romanticism ebbed and realism took hold 
in the arts. Further adding to the opera’s appeal was Bizet’s generous use of exotic melodies, including several that drew on 
Spanish popular music. There is no better example than the Habanera, sung by Carmen when she makes her first entrance in 
Act | (Listening Map 54). Emerging from a factory with a chorus of workers, she sings of love as an elusive bird that 
cannot be caught or tamed. 


Video 39.1: The Habanera from Carmen. Ekaterina Semenchuk portrays Carmen in the famous “Habanera” scene, directed by Franco 
Zeffirelli in the Arena de Verona’s 2014 production. 


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Her music is based on the habanera, a type of Cuban dance first popularized in Spanish-occupied Havana during the 
early nineteenth century. Bizet begins by establishing a simple minor-keyed bass pattern of four notes ( @), used 
throughout the entire number. Above this swaying accompaniment, Carmen sings a coyly descending chromatic line(_ @). 
The chorus repeats her music, but now shifts from the minor to the parallel major key, while Carmen muses on the 
word /’amour (“love”). The next section, still in the major, is the refrain, sung first by Carmen and then by the chorus. 
Drawing herself into the song, she now compares love to a young, uninhibited gypsy. After the chorus warns, “Take guard,” 
Carmen sings another strophe, answered again by the chorus and refrain, and driven by the alluring, hypnotic beat of the 
bass. 


>) LISTENING MAP 5 4 


GEORGES BIZET, Carmen, Act 1, Habanera 
{1946} 


AUDIO: Carmen, Act I, Habanera 


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Habanera (slow dance in duple meter, set as strophic song with refrain-like chorus) 


Allegretto, almost Andantino 


Soprano solo, chorus and orchestra 


Bizet establishes the rocking pattern of the habanera with a four-note bass pattern that is repeated 
over and over. Above this pattern Carmen sings her descending chromatic melody, with occasional 
refrain-like replies from the chorus. 





@)» why to LISTEN 


Bizet’s Carmen received a lukewarm reception at its Paris premiere in 1875 but later became one of the most popular operas 
of all time. What accounted for this change? Bizet’s masterpiece broke decisively with conventions, and in doing so initially 
encountered resistance, which was overcome as tastes changed. Carmen was one of the first operas to respond to the new 
movement of realism in the arts. Its subject, a sordid love affair between a gypsy seductress and a common soldier, was not 
what Parisian audiences expected. Bizet did little to soften the hard realities of his story. Some who heard the opera early on 
were entranced by its blend of exotic musical themes and sensuality, including Tchaikovsky and especially Johannes 
Brahms. In one year alone, Brahms saw the opera more than twenty times. You might suppose that Brahms, the leading 
representative of the Austro-Germanic tradition, would be the upholder of everything “serious” about classical music, but 
he, too, felt compelled to listen. 


( )Jirst LISTEN 


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«-) «deeper LISTEN 







TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS TRANSLATION 


@ Fixed beat pattern established in bass 





[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 


0:06 @ Descending chromatic melody sung 


by Carmen, minor key 


0:39 


Chorus repeats Carmen’s music in major 
key, with comments by Carmen 


0:57 Refrain, sung by Carmen, major key 


1:39 
2:29 


Refrain repeated by chorus 





La 
L'amour est un oi-seau re = bel - le Que nul ne 


L’amour est un 
oiseau rebelle 

que nul ne peut 
apprivoiser, 

et c est bien en vain 
qu’on l’appelle, 

sil lui convient de 
refuser. 

Rien n’y fait, menace 
ou priere, 

l'un parle bien, 
l'autre se tait, 

et c'est l'autre que je 
préfere. 

Il n’a rien dit, mais il 
me plait. 


L’amour est enfant 
de Bohéme, 

il n’a jamais connu 
de loi. 

Si tu ne m’aimes pas, 
je t'aime. 

Si je t'aime, prends 
garde a toi! 


L’oiseau que tu 
croyais surprendre 
battit de l’aile et 
senvola. 

L’amour est loin, tu 
peux l’attendre. 

Tu ne l’attends plus, 
il est la! 

Tout autour de toi, 
vite, 

Il vient, s’en va, puis 
il revient. 

Tu crois le tenir, il 

t évite; 

tu crois l’éviter, il te 
tient! 


Love is a rebellious bird 
that no one can tame, 
and one calls it in vain, 
if it conveniently 
refuses. 

Nothing works, neither 
threat nor prayer, 

one speaks well, 
another is silent. 

I prefer the latter. 

He says nothing, but 
pleases me. 





peut__ ap - pri-voi = ser, 


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Love is a Bohemian 
child 

that has never known 
restraint. 

If you do not love me, I 
love you. 


If I love you, take 
guard! 


The bird you thought 
you surprised 

beat its wings and flew 
away. 

Love is distant, you can 
wait for it. 

When you don’t wait 
for it, it is there! 

Quick, all around you, 
it comes, goes, then 
returns. 

You think you can grasp 
it, it escapes; 

you think it has 
escaped, it grasps you! 


INSTRUMENTAL GENRES AND VERISMO OPERA 


After France’s humiliating defeat in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871, a young generation of composers sought to 
raise the stature of French music by turning to instrumental genres such as the symphony. Among others, César Franck (a 
Belgian active in France, 1822-1890) and Camille Saint-Saéns (1836-1921) wrote important symphonies and other 
instrumental works. In Italy, opera remained the predominant genre, but now composers began to abandon the older 
conventions, such as the predictable set numbers and the subordination of the orchestra to the soloists. They instead began to 
favor continuous stretches of music and a more ambitious use of the orchestra. In the closing decades of the 
century, verismo, a strikingly realistic style of opera, came into style. Cavalleria rusticana by Pietro Mascagni 


and Pagliacciby Ruggiero Leoncavallo, still popular today, are outstanding examples of the new style. Giacomo Puccini 
(1858-1924) moved even more boldly toward realistic settings and stark, dramatic situations in his operas La 
Boheme (1896), Tosca (1900), and Madama Butterfly (1904). Their characters feature, respectively, a poor seamstress who 
dies of tuberculosis; a singer pursued by a Roman police chief; and a Japanese geisha who marries an American naval 
officer only to commit suicide after he abandons her. 





Poster for Puccini’s opera Madama Butterfly (1904). 


Finally, the expansion of tonality in the works of Wagner and other Romantic composers pushed the boundaries of 
musical harmony. The new century would bring an even bigger disruption when younger composers broke from using 
traditional harmonies entirely. Composers sensed that the aesthetic of expression—the lifeblood of Romanticism—had been 
exhausted. Eager to break the grip of Romanticism, they turned away from the legacy of the nineteenth century to seek new 
approaches to music in a new, modern age. 


Puccini’s “Che gelida manina” from La Bohéme 


ON C4INCERGCONTNI X04 1 (OCH W OLSITAW ERS) DOD KG O) ON Osmo 10)/121//12 





Few operas have enjoyed as varied an afterlife as Puccini’s La Boheme. Premiered in 1896 in Milan with the young 
Arturo Toscanini (1867—1957) conducting, its success promoted his career. Toscanini later became a household name in 
the United States thanks to his radio broadcasts and recordings. The opera was also associated with the great Italian 
tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921), who made many recordings of excerpts. Then in 1959, “Musetta’s Waltz,” one of the 
most popular numbers in the opera, crossed over into popular music as the basis of Della Reese’s hit song “Don’t You 
Know.” And in 1996, the musical Rent opened on Broadway in New York, with a story line adapted from Puccini’s 
opera. In the musical, the impoverished lovers Roger and Mimi live a bohemian existence in Greenwich Village in New 
York, where, instead of tuberculosis, they contend with AIDS. 


check your KNOWLEDGE 39 


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39.1 
39.2 
39.3 
39.4 
RL Bs) 
39.6 


Chapter 39 Quiz 


PART VI SUMMARY: THE ROMANTIC PERIOD 


¢ Nineteenth-century Romanticism was a reaction in the arts against the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, and, in 
music, against the Classical style of Haydn and Mozart. 
¢ Romantic composers celebrated subjective experiences and developed highly individual modes of expression. 
° They treated rhythm and meter flexibly. 
° Their melodies tended to be more freely formed than Classical melodies. 
° They extended the traditional range of dynamics to elevate the subjective content of their art. 


° They were attracted to program music, relating many of their works to non-musical subjects such as poems, 
plays, or paintings. Two new musical genres were the short character piece for piano and the orchestral concert 
overture. 


° They explored an enlarged range of keys and harmonies that gradually weakened the central authority of the 
tonic. 


¢ A new musical genre, the art song, became popular, particularly in German-speaking areas. German lyric poetry 
inspired songs known as lieder. Notable composers in this genre included Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, and 
Clara Wieck Schumann. 
¢ New technological developments in the construction of pianos inspired a rich repertoire of music for the instrument. 
* Many virtuoso performers—including Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt, and Johannes Brahms—toured Europe, 
helping to popularize the piano. 
¢ Fanny Hensel, Felix Mendelssohn’s sister, was another accomplished pianist and composer, though, unlike 
Clara Schumann, she did not have a public career. 
¢ The Romantic era saw many innovations in orchestral music. 
e The orchestra expanded to include new instruments, allowing for increased variety in tone color. 


* Orchestration (the art of combining different instrumental sounds) gained in stature as composers explored 
novel instrumental effects in orchestras. 


° Felix Mendelssohn and Hector Berlioz were two key composers who helped transform nineteenth-century 
orchestral music. 
¢ Romantic opera was a showcase of escapist plots, spectacular stage effects, huge orchestras, and singing that 
stretched the limits of the human voice. 


° In Italy opera remained the dominant nineteenth-century musical genre. The principal composers were 
Gioachino Rossini, Gaetano Donizetti, Vincenzo Bellini, and Giuseppe Verdi. 


* French nineteenth-century opera included “rescue” operas about the liberation of political prisoners. It also 
celebrated “grand” operas, which were lavish productions in five acts and generally based on historical subjects. 


¢ The dominant nineteenth-century German composer of opera was Richard Wagner. His large-scale music 
dramas offered a new synthesis of the arts and powerfully transformed the course of classical music. 
¢ Romanticism influenced much nineteenth-century music, but in the second half of the period, nationalism and 
realism increasingly affected music’s evolution. 


¢ Several prominent composers were centered in Vienna, including Johannes Brahms, Richard Strauss, and 
Gustav Mahler. 


* Among the composers identified with nationalist movements was Antonin Dvorak in Bohemia. 


° In Russia, a group of five composers known as the “Mighty Handful,” including Modest Mussorgsky, 
developed distinctive Russian musical styles largely independent of European models. 


¢ Another leading Russian composer, Peter Il’yich Tchaikovsky, wrote music stylistically closer to European 
traditions. 


¢ Composers who were influenced by realism included Modest Mussorgsky in Russia, Georges Bizet in France, 
and Giacomo Puccini in Italy. 


KEY TERMS 


absolute music 
accelerando 
ballad 

baton 

canzone 
cavatina 
character piece 
concert overture 
double aria 
double stop 
étude 
Gesamtkunstwerk 
glissando 

grand opera 
habanera 

idée fixe 
leitmotif 

lied (lieder) 
mazurka 
modified strophic song 
music drama 
nationalism 
nocturne 
orchestration 
pentatonic scale 
polonaise 
prelude 
program music 
realism 

ritard 

rubato 

saltarello 

song cycle 
stretto 

strophic song 
through-composed song 
tone poem 
verismo 

waltz (valse) 


KEY COMPOSERS 


Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868) 
Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848) 
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) 
Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835) 
Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) 
Fanny Hensel (1805-1847) 

Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) 
Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) 
Robert Schumann (1810-1856) 
Franz Liszt (1811-1886) 
Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) 
Richard Wagner (1813-1883) 
Clara Schumann (1819-1896) 
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) 
Georges Bizet (1838-1875) 
Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881) 
Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) 
Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904) 
Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) 
Richard Strauss (1864-1949) 


Part: 6 Flashcards: The Romantic Period 


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Walon Or-vonloyt-bae\LUKSCOmey ana elom\y E-valebbel.e-) 


no 


~ THE GAMBIA 
4 
Banjul 


nae 





One of the greatest traditions in West Africa is that of professional musicians/storytellers who preserve a record of the 
culture’s great people and achievements. In this video, we hear two jali of the Mandinka people who sing a traditional praise 
song in honor of a fallen religious leader, accompanying themselves on the traditional harp, the kora. 


The Mandinka 


The Mandinka are a major subgroup of one of the largest ethnic groups of West Africa known as the Mande. They were 
among the first to develop agriculture in the savanna of West Africa some four thousand years ago, and are still known today 
as highly successful farmers, but also as cosmopolitan merchants, businesspeople, and administrators. The Mande are spread 
across southern Mali, southern Senegal, all of the Gambia, and Guinea-Bissau, with significant populations in Guinea, 
Burkina Faso, and Cote d’Ivoire. The area is part of the western sahel, or savanna, where the deep forests of the West 
African coast give way to a vast expanse of fields and farmland south of the Sahara. The population is predominantly rural, 
living in villages and towns, growing rice, millet, and groundnuts (peanuts). However, increasingly people are being drawn 
to the cities, where opportunities in government, business, and artistic organizations are best. Islam is the dominant religion 
throughout Mande culture and the area as a whole. 


Professional musicians 


A cultural heritage of the Mande is a hierarchical society, with distinct identities for craft specialists, including musicians. 
The professional musicians of the Mande, formerly court musicians, are known by the term ja/i or dyeli (French spelling). 
They play several melodic instruments—a xylophone, harp, and lute—all of which are used to accompany songs, generally 
in the genre called praise songs, commemorating the achievements of past and present cultural heroes. Women specialize in 
singing. 


The kora 


The most common instrument of the professional musicians of the Gambian Mandinka is the kora, a harp of a type unique to 
West Africa, the bridge harp, with a tall neck, hide-covered half-gourd body, and a bridge holding the strings out from the 
body in two rows. It has a range comparable to the guitar, and is played in virtuoso style as well as for song accompaniment. 


Video: Mandinka jali 


This short video was made in Bakau, the Gambia, by Roderic Knight. The two performers featured were his kora teachers, 
Alhaji Suntu Suso (foreground) and Jali Nyama Suso. They are performing a song from the traditional repertoire called 
“Sherif Sidi.” You will notice that they play a repeated pattern in the accompaniment, typical of this style of music, in which 
short melodic phrases are repeated many times. Over this repeated accompaniment, the singers change their vocal lines, 
producing a great variety against this steady background. 





Video 39.2: The Gambia: Kora Music of the Mandinka 
[Please Note: You must have an Internet connection to view this content. ] 


“Sherif Sidi” is dedicated to Sidi Haidara, a sherif (Muslim cleric) from the Casamance region of Senegal. It was 
composed upon his death in the early twentieth century by Makan Darameh, using a tune dedicated earlier to Sankalima 
Koli. The lines mourn Haidara’s death: “Sidi has fallen, man from the Sahel, Sidi has died. Manjang woman’s son, Sidi has 
died. The jinns (spirits) are crying, the angels are weeping. Death passes nobody by, Sidi Haidara.” In addition to the basic 
lines of this song, sung in chorus by the two men, Jali Nyama adds passages in a style called sataro (“reciting”), in which he 
employs standard praise lyrics and mentions various relatives of Haidara. 


AVN AINCEK GOIN XGA HCO) MEMAY LEIS) COM WOT-TMO Ro) DI Sire as 





Many songs recount either traditional stories or commemorate the lives of well-known people as does “Sherif Sidi.” 
1) 
Schubert, Erlkonig 


¢ Examples in this book include Schubert’s “Erlk6nig,” based on a well-known Danish myth. In “Erlkonig,” Schubert 
mirrors the eerie story in the repetition of its musical accompaniment, similar in some ways to how these African 
musicians accompany their story. 


c))) 
“American Pie” by Don McLean (1971) 


¢ Some songs that commemorate well-known people from recent popular music include “American Pie” by Don 
McLean (commemorating the death of pop star Buddy Holly) and “Candle in the Wind” by Elton John (originally 
written in memory of Marilyn Monroe but then updated to celebrate the life of Princess Diana). 


c))) 
“Candle in the Wind” by Elton John (1973) 


* Rap is the closet parallel in popular music to this type of song-narrative, as most rap songs tell a story. Numerous rap 
songs memorialize Tupac Shakur, including “So Much Pain” by Ja Rule, and Nas’s “We Will Survive.” 


<))) 
“Crime After Crime” by Bone Thugz N Harmony 
<)))) 
“So Much Pain” by Ja Rule ft 2Pac (2001) 





PART 


The Modern Era 


One must be absolutely modern. —ARTHUR RIMBAUD 


Contrary to general belief, an artist is never ahead of his time, but most people are far 
behind theirs. —EDGARD VARESE 





Pablo Picasso, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, 1907. ACME Imagery/ACME Imagery. 


Beginning in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a new movement in the arts took hold and profoundly altered 
the course of music. Mode underscored the new realities of the modern world, rather than a Romanticized notion of it. 
The resulting art seemed shockingly strange and different from what had come before. 





Claude Monet, Impression: Sunrise, 1872. 


Why Listen to Music from the Modern Era? 


Sometimes taking risks wins universal admiration. But the modernists’ explorations of new musical frontiers encountered 
substantial resistance at first. Twentieth-century avant-garde movements in music did more than strain the understanding of 
audiences; they increasingly alienated those audiences. The avant-garde became so innovative that, some critics argued, it 
eventually became irrelevant to modern and (now) postmodern life. In approaching modernism, we can focus on two basic 
questions: (1) why did so many listeners dislike modernist music; and (2) why should we listen to it? 

In response to the first question, consider how musical traditions existing since the Renaissance have conditioned us to 
expect certain features in music. The idea of “consonant” and “dissonant” harmonies has been accepted for so long that it 
seems fundamentally true rather than arbitrary. When avant-garde music pushes the dissonance level too high, we cannot (or 
choose not to) cross the gap between our expectations and the reality of what we are hearing. 

Modernism provided an escape from the troubles of the past, whether political, social, or cultural, and found value in the 
radically new. It led composers to take significant risks, as they explored an unfamiliar world of new sounds that collided 


with conventional ideas of beauty in art. Modernist music confronted audiences with a bold challenge: cling to the familiar, or 
explore uncertain new terrains of sound. It was a stark choice. Admittedly, not many were prepared to follow the experiments 
of composers who viewed themselves as musical pioneers. But just as Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay ascended Mt. 
Everest in 1953, or as American astronauts landed on the moon in 1969, the modernists also challenged our ideas about what 
was possible. They opened up new vistas of sound unthinkable to previous generations of musicians. Along the way they 
discovered new insights into the mystery of artistic creativity. Our natural curiosity about the unknown is reason enough to 
listen: sometimes in the most unfamiliar and least explored, we can find new perspectives on our own lives. 


Modernist Innovations 


Part of what propelled modernism forward was a dizzying succession of technological and scientific innovations that 
drastically changed people’s day-to-day lives. New technologies—from telephones and phonographs in the early decades 
through the Internet and Wi-Fi in the later ones—opened new avenues of communication. New machines—from power tools 
and steam shovels to typewriters and eventually PCs—increased productivity and created more leisure time. Breakthroughs in 
medicine extended life expectancies. 

Meanwhile, political movements challenged and changed the relationship between people and their governments. Citizens 
who felt increasingly unsettled in the changing modern world supported the rise of totalitarian regimes, such as Nazism in 
Germany and fascism in Italy. At first, these movements offered a sense of order and national pride, yet the price was brutal 
authoritarianism and war. Communism in the newly established Soviet Union promoted an idealized “workers’ paradise” that 
emphasized group “well-being” over individual experience. All these trends influenced the arts in meaningful ways. 

Three profoundly new scientific theories developed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: (1) evolution, (2) 
psychoanalysis, and (3) relativity. All three theories undermined the idea that there was one overarching truth that did not 
change over time. The effects of these theories on society and the arts were enormous. 


1) Evolution: In On the Origin of Species (1859), Charles Darwin (1809-1882) explained his theory that plant and 
animal life had evolved over time, with only the strongest surviving. As the nineteenth century closed, this basic idea 
became a social justification for racism and imperialism. Various nations engaged in empire-building around the 
globe, with profound consequences for the new century. The implications of Darwin’s theory also removed a spiritual 
dimension and mystery from the general view of the world, one of the hallmarks of Romantic thought. For many, 
evolution was a direct assault on religious belief. 

2) Psychoanalysis: Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) also had a significant impact on modernism. He proposed that humans 
were subject to irrational, subconscious forces, an idea that in turn suggested society was less orderly than once 
thought. Freud’s ideas about the role of sexuality in human behavior confronted head on the reserved social values of 
the nineteenth century. 

3) Relativity: The physicist Albert Einstein (1879-1955) revolutionized our views about time and space with his theories 
of relativity (1905 and 1915). Einstein proposed that our perception of the world was based on our individual point of 
view. To us, the world appears to be fixed and unchanging, but in fact it is constantly in motion. 





Umberto Boccioni, Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, 1913. Bridgeman Art Library, London/Bridgeman Art Library, London. 


All this agitation sent the arts onto strange new paths. In turn, a range of artistic movements contributed to twentieth- 
century modernism in different ways, but they all emphasized a break from the past. Major movements primarily associated 
with the visual arts included impressionism, cubism, futurism, expressionism, Dadaism, and surrealism. Within only a 
few decades, painters had abandoned the traditional use of perspective, poets and writers had begun to explore the 
unconscious in new ways, and many composers had abandoned the time-honored system of tonality. The catastrophic First 
World War, followed swiftly by another, had forever altered the old order. In the following decades, new waves of the avant- 
garde arose, made up of shifting alliances of writers, artists, composers, and philosophers. After the Second World War, the 
number of artistic movements continued to grow, from abstract expressionism, existentialism, op art, pop art, “happenings,” 
and “performance art” to computer art and postmodernism. Succeeding generations explored new paths of artistic 
experimentation that stretched their audiences’ comprehension to the limits. 





Marcel Duchamp, L.H.O.0.Q., 1919. 


And yet the arts survived as a necessary gauge of the human condition. As the arts grew bolder in their demands, more 
abstract in their nature, and more elusive in their meaning, a chasm widened between artists and the public. That alienation 
became especially meaningful for music and for the revolutions in sound it caused. 





Salvador Dali, The Persistence of Memory, 1931. 


P| Interactive Timeline: The Modern Era 























@ Claude Debussy, @ Ralph Vaughan Williams, © Alban Berg, Wozzeck; © George Gershwin, 
Fy Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis Varése, Hyperprism Porgy and Bess 
3 1894 1910 ; 1923 : 1935 
£ @ Stravinsky, © Stravinsky, 
é The Rite of Spring Symphony of Psalms; @ Dimitri 
2 © Scott Joplin, Ammald Schoenberg) 1913 @ GeorgelGerstiwin) [DokelEllingion? Chesickcavicht 
5 Maple leaf Rag Pierrot lunaire Rhapsody in Blue Mood Indigo Fifth Symphony 
= 1899 1913 @ @ Charles Ives, 1924 1930 1937 
2 a Concord Sonata 1915 ; : : 
S Charles Ives, Gen. William @ Lovis Armstrong, @ Béla Bartok 
8 Claude Debussy, Booth Enters into Heaven; © Sergei Prokofiev, “Siruttin’ with Music for Strings, 
3 Palleesteralisonde W.C. Handy, Si: Louis Blues *Classicul? Symphony (GomelBorbecte? Parenssiontan niet 
1902 @ 1914 @ 1917 1927 1936 
1870 1880 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 
@ Claude Monet, Sigmund Freud, @ Pablo Picasso, @ Bolshevik Revolution in Russia @ The Jazz Singer, 
Impression: Setting Sun (Fog) Interpretation of Dreams les Demoiselles d’Avignon 1917 first “talking” picture 
1872 1899 1907 1927 Veal Rist 
2 e . © Marcel Duchamp, 1939-194, 
2 Nude Descending a Staircase — 
= @ Thomas Edison 1912 eg hes Stock market crash; Presidency of Franklin 
5 patents the First successful @ Albert Einstein’ s general Great Depression Delano Roosevelt 
> phonograph radio transmission theory of relativity 1929 1933-1945 
g 1878 : 1901@ 1916 e —saae ee 
i Eiffel Tower completed World War! Soviet Union established Stalin rules Russia 
1889 First flight of Wright brothers 1908-1912 1914-1918 1923 1926-1953 
e 1903 @ es === e 
@ Copland, @ Karlheinz Stockhausen, @ Beatles, @ Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, © Sofia Gubaidulina, 
5 Appalachian Spring Gesang der Jiinglinge Sergeant Pepper’s Concerto Grosso Violin Concerto No. 2 
g 1944 1956 Lonely Hearts Club Band 2007 
€ 1967 
6 
2 @ Benjamin Britten, @ Leonard Bernstein, 
5 TheNourg PaceasGue Wast Side Story 
eS to the Orchestra 1957 
3 1946 
g @ Edgard Varése, @ John Adams, 
2 Poéme électronique Short Ride in a Fast Machine 
1958 1986 
1940 1950 1960 1970 1990 2010 2020 
fe) Somicibonsetcicered oninifesnima © Fall of the Berlin Wall 
and Nagasaki; United Nations formed 1989 . 
World War Il 1945 Brexit 
2 1939-1945 2017-2019 
2. @ Beginning of the Cold War © Moon landing @ 9/11 terrorist attacks in United States = 
GS Pesthasuctiicnlllta 1948 1969 2001 
2am (De ancl Rocsevcl KereaniWar Wars in Afghanistan 
= 1933-1945 1950-1953 2001- 
a Ey =a GE CCC CCD 
a Stalin rules Russia Vietnam War Dissolution of the ; Iraq War 
1926-1953 1965-1975 Soviet Union 2003-2011 
a a | eres aeaerer see! 1991 @ eee 








CHAPTER 


40 


Music in the Twentieth Century 


After centuries of convention in Western music, twentieth-century composers abandoned tonality and 
explored new ways of approaching and organizing pitches and harmony. These innovations are modernism’s 
most distinct feature. They are also what caused most of the difficulty for audiences. In addition, modernist 
composers experimented with new approaches to rhythm and timbre that drastically changed the way music 
was composed. 

For centuries, composers had based their music on triads and the familiar major and minor scales, the 
building blocks of Western tonality. But by 1900, it had become clear to some composers that the old tonal 
system could not fully accommodate their musical ideas. In particular, Wagner and Liszt had devised new, 
flexible approaches to tonality that better suited their musical ideas. Significant parts of Wagner’s works 
imply rather than clearly define key centers. And Liszt’s late works often seem to abandon key signatures 
and drift into an ambiguous harmonic world. His experiments with testing the limits of tonality were ahead 
of their time. Only a few years after Wagner’s and Liszt’s deaths, tonality was on the verge of collapse. 


40.1 Alternatives to Tonality 


Late nineteenth-century composers such as Dvorak and Mussorgsky experimented with scales outside the major and minor 
scales of the tonal system, including the five-tone pentatonic scale. Another special scale, the whole-tone scale, came into 
vogue toward the end of the century. The whole-tone scale divides the octave evenly into whole tones (or whole steps), 
instead of the mixture of whole and half steps found in the major and minor scales. 


Whole-tone scale 


——S 


SG fk fF EHF ff BH gio 


whole whole whole whole whole whole 
step step step step step step 


Figure Animations: Whole Tone Scale 


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Composers such as Claude Debussy (see Chapter 41) based a number of works on whole-tone scales. Debussy used the 
scales to generate not just melodies, but also, by combining individual pitches of the scale, novel harmonies. The result was 
shimmering, impressionistic sounds that suggested for some listeners the light-filled works of Impressionist paintings. 

Besides new scales, composers experimented with many new approaches to harmony that went well beyond the 
traditional use of major and minor triads. One new idea was polytonality, performing simultaneously unrelated harmonies 
from different keys. A celebrated polytonal passage occurs in the ballet Petrushka (1911) by the Russian composer Igor 
Stravinsky. 

Stravinsky creates a swirling mass of dissonant sounds through this use of polytonality. When separated, the competing 
harmonies sound ordinary enough; but when combined, they create a distinctly unsettling, modern effect. The jarring 
harmonies are a perfect accompaniment for the character Petrushka, a wooden puppet that comes to life. His grotesque 
features and mechanical movements are reflected in the music itself. 





Russian dancer Vaslav Nijinsky in the title role of Stravinsky’s ballet Petrushka (1911). The ballet features a celebrated polytonal passage, 
mimicking the grotesque, mechanical movements of the title character. 


Arguably the most provocative type of modern harmony was the tone cluster, a chord made up of several closely 
adjacent notes. This technique was developed by the ruggedly individualistic American composer Henry Cowell (1897— 
1965). Cowell used his forearms to strike adjacent keys at the piano, spanning an octave and more. Initially regarded as the 
forefront of the avant-garde, tone clusters soon became common in twentieth-century classical and jazz compositions. 


Video 40.1: Dissonance. In the twentieth century, composers began incorporating dissonance—or what seem to our ears to be unpleasant 
sounding chords—into their music. In this video, Larry Todd describes how and why dissonance has come to play such a large role in music. 


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40.2 Arnold Schoenberg and the Rejection of Tonality 


The growing freedom in harmonic organization reached a new extreme in the music of the Austro-Hungarian Arnold 
Schoenberg (1874-1951). Around 1908, Schoenberg began composing without key signatures and stopped using tonal 
triads. Schoenberg labeled his music “pantonal,” meaning that it relied on all pitches of the chromatic scale, to signify its 
emancipation from tonality. He proclaimed tonality, the bedrock of Western music for centuries, to be obsolete, and 
dismissed conventional notions of consonance and dissonance as irrelevant in the new century. 





Arnold Schoenberg in 1924. 


Schoenberg’s rejection of conventional tonality took place over a period of about twenty years, from roughly 1890 to 
1910. In the first stage, his early, tonal music became increasingly chromatic and dissonant. However, Schoenberg kept this 
music just barely within the bounds of tonality by occasionally using triads. The decisive move to pantonality came when 
he abandoned the remaining triads altogether, creating music no longer grounded in tonality. Most listeners reacted to 
Schoenberg’s pantonal compositions with bewilderment and shock. Music without tonal references was like a gravity-free 
field, in which listeners struggled to grasp floating strands of disordered pitches. In place of Schoenberg’s term “‘pantonal,” 
critics seized on the pejorative term atonal (atonality: “without tonality”) to describe this music. 





MAKING CONNECTIONS Atonality and Soundtracks 


Schoenberg’s atonal music often emphasizes the intervals of the second and seventh, which may sound dissonant, 
upsetting, or harsh. If you watch a horror, thriller, or science fiction film, there is a good chance that some of the music 
you hear is atonal. One particularly famous example is the screeching music for the shower scene in 

Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960). In these films we understand and accept that the music is meant to reinforce our sense of 
heightened suspense, fear, dread, or anxiety. Music filled with pleasing consonances would simply not do the trick. 


Through the First World War and beyond, Schoenberg continued to work in the atonal idiom, creating compositions that 
challenged both musicians and audiences. Then, in the 1920s, he devised a new approach that allowed him to impose order 
on his atonal music. Known as the twelve-tone system, it was Schoenberg’s second great contribution to twentieth-century 
music. 


Video 40.2: How to Construct a Tone Row. Seeking to develop a new way of structuring his compositions, composer Arnold Schoenberg 
developed the idea of “tone rows.” This method became the model for many composers who followed him. In this video, Larry Todd 
demonstrates tone rows and how they are used in twentieth-century music. 


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To achieve an equal use of all twelve pitches, Schoenberg organized them into a tone row, or series. The tone row was a 
fixed sequence of the twelve chromatic pitches that allowed them to be used methodically in a composition before any one 
was repeated. Schoenberg’s tone rows displayed a free mixture of intervals, while avoiding concentrations of pitches that 
outlined triads. 


Schoenberg was able to create additional tone rows based on the original: 


¢ By playing the basic row backward, he derived a second tone row known as the retrograde. 


¢ By rewriting the original tone row upside-down, he produced a third tone row known as inversion, a mirror-like 
reflection of the original. 


¢ Finally, by playing this third tone row backwards, he generated a fourth row known as retrograde inversion. 


Of the new alternatives to tonality that emerged in the twentieth century, the twelve-tone system proved to be the most 
significant. Schoenberg introduced the system to his students Alban Berg (1885-1935) and Anton von Webern (1883-1945), 
who explored its potential further during the 1930s and 1940s. In Europe and the United States, many composers developed 
the technique in new directions after the Second World War. Once considered revolutionary and at the vanguard of the 
radical extreme, the twelve-tone system was increasingly embraced by the musical establishment. 


40.3 New Experiments with Rhythm and Timbre 


Complementing Schoenberg’s revolutionary treatments of pitch were modernists’ efforts to change age-old ideas about 
rhythm and timbre. Twentieth-century composers rejected regular, recurring beat patterns in favor of asymmetrical divisions. 
Many of them embraced a technique known as polyrhythm, the layering of competing rhythms and meters. Some 
composers, such as Igor Stravinsky and the Hungarian Béla Bartok, gave their music a dynamic rhythmic energy by 
frequently changing meters within a composition. 

Some composers turned their attention to the quality of sound itself—its timbre, or color. In 1911 Schoenberg coined the 
term Klangfarbenmelodie—a composite German word meaning “sound-color-melody’—to emphasize the significance of 
timbre. In a bold exploration of this concept, Schoenberg altered instrumental scorings of slowly shifting atonal chords to 
suggest an ever rotating kaleidoscope of sound. The shifting colors of the music replaced the traditional role of pitch. 


check your KNOWLEDGE 40 


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40.1 
40.2 
40.3 
40.4 
40.5 


Q 
Chapter 40 Quiz 


CHAPTER 


41 


The Modernist Revolution 


Several composers pioneered musical modernism. Born in the second half of the nineteenth century, they 
lived long enough in the twentieth to leave strong footprints on modern music. Three composers during this 
time were particularly innovative and influential: 


1) Claude Debussy turned his subtly refined scores away from the dominant Austro-Germanic 
influences in European music. 

2) Igor Stravinsky, a cosmopolitan figure who worked in Europe and the United States, revolutionized 
approaches to rhythmic structure and formal design. 

3) Arnold Schoenberg created a radical innovation in sound through his determined exploration of 
atonality. 


Paris (where Debussy and Stravinsky worked) and Vienna (where Schoenberg worked) were the hubs for 
these developments. The composers’ experiments varied strikingly in scope, yet they expressed a common 
desire to discard the familiar. Not just in music but in other arts as well, Paris and Vienna teemed with 
revolutionary ideas as the seeds of modernism were sown. 


41.1 Claude Debussy 


Little in the background of Debussy (1862—1918) predicted his musical modernism. He trained at the Paris Conservatory, a 
revered and traditional institution, and won the Prix de Rome after impressing the judges with a standard cantata. Like 
Berlioz half a century before, Debussy chafed at the conservative routine that he found in Italy. And like many other 
musicians, Debussy made the pilgrimage to Bayreuth to hear Wagner’s music dramas. He did not find a meaningful path for 
himself through Wagner’s music, however; instead, he saw it as a glorious sunset marking the end of a previous age. In his 
own music, Debussy rejected the dense textures, thick orchestration, and seriousness of Wagner’s art. 





Claude Debussy (1862-1918), painted by Marcel André Baschet, 1884. 


As a young man, Debussy had visited Russia, where Tchaikovsky’s eccentric patroness, Madame von Meck, employed 
him as a pianist. While there, Debussy studied Russian music, especially the works of Modest Mussorgsky, whose style 
deeply influenced him. Another key inspiration occurred in 1889 when Debussy heard Indonesian musicians perform at the 
International Exposition in Paris. Playing a group of metal percussion instruments, drums, bamboo flutes, and strings, 
known as a gamelan, the Indonesians’ music was unlike anything that he had heard. These performers employed non- 
Western scales, including pentatonic scales. The fresh sounds of this exotic music and its idiosyncratic rhythmic patterns 
revealed further possibilities for him to explore. Yet another influence was Liszt’s later, experimental music, in which 
Debussy found imaginative applications of whole-tone scales and harmonies. Intrigued by all these models, he strove to 
create a new kind of music. Declaring his artistic liberation, Debussy told a colleague that he was renouncing his faith in the 
C-major scale and in the tonal system that it symbolized. 


NON C4 INCERGCONTN X04 1 (ODS BOL GIN BADD) NO ROD, (15) mare ISIBLY, C016 (o) wD Isimm Cereye| 








The Eiffel Tower. 


Some 250 million tourists have visited the iconic Eiffel Tower since it opened in 1889. During its construction, the 
wrought iron tower became the center of a Parisian culture war that pitted tradition against innovation, the familiar 
against the unknown, and art against science and technology. A petition signed by 300 French painters, poets, 
musicians, and intellectuals demanded that the project be canceled. Its shadows, they feared, would obscure the great 
buildings of the city, such as Notre Dame and the Louvre. 

Of course, the tower was built. Initially the plan was to dismantle it after twenty years, but it remains one of the 
most recognizable architectural structures of all time. Its original purpose was to stand as a gateway to the Exposition 
universelle, a world’s fair held during the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. Among the visitors was the 
twenty-seven-year-old composer Debussy, who was inspired by the Javanese gamelan ensemble he heard there. 


Along with Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), Debussy is one of the composers most often labeled as an impressionist. 
However, Debussy did not associate directly with the impressionist painters. Although he often used imaginative titles for 
his compositions—for example, Reflets dans |’eau (Reflections in the Water)—his inspiration seems to have been more 
poetic than pictorial. Still, the shimmering harmonies of his compositions suggest the play of light and color in impressionist 
paintings. 

Debussy once said that the ideal music drama should consist of a loose series of dreamlike scenes. This belief reveals his 
affinity to symbolism, a French movement of poets who aimed to create in their art impressions through suggestion rather 
than literal descriptions. The poem L’apres-midi d’un faune (The Afternoon of a Faun) by Stéphane Mallarmé inspired 
Debussy to compose an orchestral work envisioned as a musical prelude to it. Though Debussy finished his score in 1894, it 
is generally accepted as a seminal work of twentieth-century modernism. 


PRELUDE TO THE AFTERNOON OF A FAUN (1894) 


Debussy’s Prelude may at first strike the listener as rather unassuming. It lasts only about ten minutes, rarely attains 
a fortissimo dynamic level, and uses a much smaller orchestra than the Wagnerian standard of the day. There are prominent 
parts for woodwinds and strings, but the brass section is reduced to just four horns. Debussy adds two harps and, near the 
end, introduces small finger cymbals that produce a delicate tinkling. He blends all these instrumental colors to evoke the 
pastoral, blissful world of Mallarmé’s faun. 

In the poem, the faun (a half-man, half-goat deity from Roman mythology) dreamily recalls his sexual adventures with 
woodland nymphs. But Mallarmé never makes clear whether those adventures have actually happened or whether the faun 
merely imagines them. The poem, which is suggestive rather than literal, moves back and forth between the present and the 
faun’s recollection of the past. Debussy translates that suggestiveness into gentle distortions of melodies and harmonies, 
transporting us to the faun’s mythological world. 





MAKING CONNECTIONS Symbolism 


Debussy associated with several French poets and writers who were part of the symbolist literary movement. One was 
Paul Verlaine (1844-1896), whose poem Clair de lune (Moonlight) inspired one of Debussy’s most popular piano 
pieces. Another was Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898), who exercised tremendous influence in his attempt to liberate 
poetry from its traditional rhythms and rhyme schemes. In 1894 Mallarmé attended the premiere of Debussy’s Prelude 
to the Afternoon of a Faun and was quite taken with the work. For Mallarmé, poetry and music were closely related. In 
his poetry, Mallarmé attempted to go beyond the literal meanings of the words, seeking to unleash sounds and rhythms 
that could form patterns and structures not unlike what music offered. 


The music begins with a gesture of understated but striking originality: a solo for flute, the modern symbol of the Greek 
panpipes (see Listening Map 55). Like a free improvisation, this dreamy solo (a; @)) seems tonally shapeless: it begins 
with nothing more than a slippery, descending chromatic fragment that retraces its steps. 

Answering the flute are a woodwind chord, a harp glissando like a cool summer breeze, and a melodic fragment played 
on the horn. From those materials, Debussy builds up the first section of the Prelude (A), which suggests a series of freely 
conceived variations on a. He avoids any direct repetition of thematic or harmonic material that might negate the poem’s 
play between the imagined and the real. Instead, the music conjures up the faun’s idyllic existence in a timeless, mythic- 
poetic world. With each variation, Debussy changes the faun’s theme in some way, either by subtly altering its shape or by 
revising the harmonies or orchestration. 





Costume sketch by Leon Bakst for the faun in Claude Debussy’s ballet version of The Afternoon of a Faun, 1912. 


The A section contains four variations on the opening flute solo, like four shifting perspectives on the faun’s memory of 
the past. The harmonies are vividly chromatic, effectively blurring our sense of a key center, although individual triads 
occasionally emerge. In addition, the composer incorporates whole-tone scales, which reinforce the sense of suspended 
tonality. A gentle swell and shift to a faster tempo prepare us for the central part (B), based on a haunting tonal melody (b; 

@). First played by the woodwinds and then extended by the strings, this melody describes two descending phrases 
separated by an especially wide, expressive leap. 

Could this contrasting section, much of which uses tonal triads, represent the faun’s recall of his experience? Perhaps, 
although Debussy then revives the opening flute melody (4’), and again leads it through four varied statements. The first two 
are in lengthened note values, accompanied by harp arpeggiations and gentle chords in the strings. The third and fourth are 


played in a slower tempo, accompanied by the antique cymbals and two solo violins. Finally, in the closing bars, muted 
horns sound a distant echo of the faun’s melody, in a last, fleeting view of his world. 


>) LISTENING MAP 5 5 


CLAUDE DEBUSSY, Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun 
{1894} 


AUDIO: Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun 


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Chiefly Zand 3, trés modéré (very moderately) 


Orchestra (three flutes, two oboes, one English horn, two clarinets, two bassoons, four French 
horns, two harps, two antique cymbals, and strings 


Debussy uses a three-part ABA’ form, but he overlays onto the A sections a series of free variations 
of the faun’s melody, heard at the beginning in the flute. The music shifts between passages that use 
triads and keys, others that use whole-tone scales and harmonies, and still others that lie between 
these two types. 





() why to LISTEN 


Much of the music we have studied in this book uses a basic dramatic model. A sense of musical conflict is established, 
allowed to run its course, and then resolved at the end. But what if a composer chooses not to follow this model? Debussy 
was such a composer, and his music often circles around itself, even seeming to go nowhere. The Prelude to the Afternoon 
of a Faun begins lazily with a flute solo, then continues with variations on the theme, some so subtle that the music becomes 
almost static. In this kind of music, bold, dramatic gestures are replaced by suggestive allure. What is important, Debussy 
seems to be saying, is not always what you literally hear, but what is left unheard. This suggestiveness mirrors Mallarmé’s 
poem, which does not trace a clear narrative, but depends on suggestion and nuance to achieve its dreamy effect. The 
symbolist model keeps us guessing, in the poem and in Debussy’s music, and invites us to unlock our imaginations. 


( ) first LISTEN 


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(-) «4 deeper LISTEN 







TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 
@ Chromatic flute melody (a) 


a Very moderate 


0:00 
















flute p sweetly and expressively 


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0:25 
1:00 
3:18 
4:30 
4:55 


Harp glissando, horn 

Four free variations on (a) 

More animated, swell to and decrescendo, whole-tone harmonies 
Ritard, pianissimo 


@) New theme (4) in woodwinds, with stronger tonal associations 





espressive and very sustained 


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BR77/ Animated, (6) in strings, swellto 
B in violin solo, decrescendo to Pp 
6:30 Ritard 
6:37 (a) in flute (transposed, rhythmically altered) 
6:55 (a) in oboe (transposed, rhythmically altered) 
7:10 Languorous: (a) in flute (two statements), antique cymbals, two solo violins 
9:32 Closing Muted hors, PPP 


Most of Debussy’s career unfolded in Paris. There he wrote several major orchestral works with evocative titles. Among 
them are the three orchestral Nocturnes (1899), Nuages (Clouds), Fétes (Festivals), and Sirénes (Sirens); the “symphonic 
sketch” La Mer (The Sea, 1905); and the ballet Jeux (Games, 1913). Debussy also composed a substantial amount of piano 
music. The modernist chords, whole-tone passages, and delicate layers of sound Debussy demanded from the piano required 
a different kind of keyboard technique than that needed for tonal nineteenth-century piano music, centered on triads. As if 
realizing this need, Debussy composed a set of twelve distinctive etudes for the instrument, with each devoted to a particular 
technique required to play his music. 

Despite Debussy’s negative reaction to Wagner, the Frenchman’s one complete opera, Pelléas et Mélisande (1902), has 
some curious ties to Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. Like Wagner’s celebrated music drama, Pel/éas uses continuous music 
and an intricate network of motives. But there the resemblance ends. Debussy envelops his understated score with delicate 
orchestral sounds. The stage action takes place behind a gauze screen that filters our perceptions of the drama. Finally, there 
are hardly any forte passages in the entire opera, in contrast to Wagner’s full-blown scores. 

Debussy led the French revolt against German music. Not all his countrymen supported his efforts, however. The 
composer Camille Saint-Saéns, for example, found Debussy’s music pretty but unrefined, and the Prelude to the Afternoon 
of a Faun no more a piece of music than a painter’s palette was a finished painting. Indeed, there is an unfinished, 
spontaneous quality about Debussy’s scores. However, in rejecting time-honored notions about what unified a work of 
music, Debussy emerged as a composer of the modern age. And the unassuming melodic nuances of his faun prepared the 
way for even more far-reaching and revolutionary experiments in sound. 


41.2 Igor Stravinsky 


Russian by birth, Igor Stravinsky (1882—1971) enjoyed a long career extending across much of the twentieth century. After 
attending law school, he took composition lessons from the celebrated composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. In 1910 
Stravinsky arrived in Paris, where he developed his own revolutionary approach to composition. His first major efforts were 
the orchestral scores for two ballets, The Firebird (1910) and Petrushka (1911). These works were commissioned by Sergei 
Diaghilev, the founder of the famous Ballets Russes, a Russian dance company based in Paris. Stravinsky would continue to 
compose scores for the Ballets Russes, including The Rite of Spring (1913), Pulcinella (1920), The Wedding (1923), 
and Oedipus Rex (1927). 





Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971). 


Stravinsky’s Firebird is based on a Russian fairy tale. It tells of the adventures of Tsarevich Ivan, who encounters a 
benevolent fairy endowed with magical powers (the Firebird) and the evil magician Kastchei. The lush orchestration of the 
score and its opulent tonal language suggest the music of Rimsky-Korsakov. 

Stravinsky turned to other Russian folk tales as his source for Petrushka, a ballet about a hapless puppet who comes to 
life and mingles with a group of colorful characters at a Russian fair. Petrushka is more adventuresome than The Firebird. 
Stravinsky uses snatches of Russian folk tunes and short motives that are repeated in different settings to produce a hypnotic 
effect. He is bold, too, in his treatment of harmony, experimenting with polytonality. In long passages, he freely mixes notes 
of the C-major scale with unrelated harmonies without regard for their consonant or dissonant values. 


MAKING CONNECTIONS 





The Ballets Russes was the brainchild of Sergei Diaghilev (1872-1929), a cultured Russian impresario who managed 
his ballet company in Paris for twenty years, between 1909 and 1929. Diaghilev was a conservatory-trained musician 
who aspired to be a composer, but was advised against a career in music because he lacked sufficient talent. Instead, he 
found his creative space in the world of ballet. He revolutionized the art form by bringing together talented Russian 
dancers such as Anna Pavlova (1882-1931) and Vaslav Nijinsky (1889-1950); artists including Picasso and Matisse to 
design modern sets and costumes; and composers such as Stravinsky, Debussy, Ravel, and Prokofiev to produce 
daringly modern scores. 





Anna Pavlova (1882-1931), one of the most celebrated dancers of her time, member of the original company of the Ballets Russes. 


Diaghilev experimented with replacing the set dance numbers of traditional ballet with extended passages of 
pantomime, thereby allowing composers considerable latitude. Instead of the graceful movements of traditional ballet, 
Diaghilev’s company offered unusual gestures and jumps that bordered on the sensational and sometimes provoked 
scandals. Diaghilev’s troupe ushered in the age of modern dance, and most modern choreographers still trace their roots 
to the Ballets Russes. 


Stravinsky’s major early masterpiece, and the work that galvanized public opinion, was his third score for Diaghilev, Le 
Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring, 1913). Its creation, which the composer described as an “act of faith,” required 
about two years of difficult work. The ballet’s premiere threw the audience into an uproar and provoked a brawl between 
supporters and detractors. Many audience members found the main action of the ballet, in which a sacrificial virgin dances 
herself to death, utterly scandalous. Few critics spared their contempt for Stravinsky’s modernist score. Driven by 
unrelenting rhythms, it called for an enormous orchestra (with quintuple woodwinds, augmented brass, and boisterous 
percussion sections) and teemed with primitive-sounding melodic fragments and clamorous harmonies. The Rite of 
Spring defiantly rejected traditional tonality and the Romantic aesthetic of expression that had defined the music of the 
nineteenth century. 





Reviews of The Rite of Spring 


STRAVINSKY, THE RITE OF SPRING (1913) 


To have appreciated The Rite of Spring, Stravinsky’s audience in 1913 would have had to abandon almost all their 
preconceptions about melody, harmony, form, and rhythm. Unlike Debussy, who coolly explored new musical resources 
through understated nuance, Stravinsky assaulted his listeners head-on, violating their expectations and subjecting them to 
sounds then deemed beyond the bounds of musical propriety. Like Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, 
Stravinsky’s score reflects a mythical, timeless world. We are introduced to that world not by innuendo, however, but by a 
forceful musical confrontation. Instead of the smooth sensuality of Debussy’s faun, we experience the raw energy of a pagan 
Russian tribe. 

The first part of the ballet, titled “The Adoration of the Earth,” consists of an orchestral introduction and seven scenes 
connected without pause. Two of its most celebrated passages are the “Introduction” and the “Augurs of Spring: Dance of 
the Adolescents” (see Listening Map 56). 





Dance II, by Henri Matisse (1910), evokes a wild style similar to the “Dance of the Adolescents” in Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. Art Resource, 
NY. The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. 


Stravinsky opens the “Introduction” with a solo for bassoon. However, the tune strains into the instrument’s uppermost 
register, which composers generally avoid because of its piercing quality. This solo sounds more like a wild croaking than a 
refined theme. It is, in fact, built on a short motive of eight notes, which are immediately repeated with different rhythms (a; 

@). Notice how the two pauses in the first measure disrupt the sense of a regular meter, and how the altered rhythms of 
the motive violate the sense of a regular beat. This free treatment of meter and rhythm is one of the distinctive traits of 
Stravinsky’s style. 

The bassoon is joined by a horn and then by clarinets, with each instrument asserting its own independent line in a kind 
of rough counterpoint. Stravinsky juxtaposes the bassoon motive with swelling and diminishing masses of woodwinds— 
suggesting the awakening of spring, or, as he described it, the “sublime uprising of Nature renewing herself.” Eventually, he 
amasses a dense woodwind choir, with irregular orders of lines, meter, and rhythm. Suddenly, the music halts and the 
opening bassoon solo returns. Now a short motive plucked by the strings (b; | @)) brings a transition to the first scene, the 
“Augurs of Spring: Dance of the Adolescents.” 

While the “Introduction” offers contrasting lines of woodwind colors, the “Augurs of Spring” focuses on rhythm. A 
single dissonant chord (c;_ ()) is repeated with numerous, varying rhythmic accents, which drives the dance forward with 
the pulsing lifeblood of spring. Stravinsky forces us to concentrate on pure rhythm as the essential principle of musical 
organization. 

After two regular measures of vigorous chords in the strings, bold exclamations from the horns (shown by accents in the 
Listening Map) mark off the pulses into asymmetrical rhythmic groupings. The chord itself is made up of two traditional, 
although unrelated, triadic harmonies; heard together, they form unrelenting dissonant sonorities. The chords show no 
recurring rhythmic pattern; animating the music is the energy of the basic pulse—the chord—and not the predictable pattern 
of a traditional meter. 

Occasionally, Stravinsky redistributes part of the chord in a broken arrangement (b; @), previously heard in the 
strings in the transition to the scene, but now projected in the throaty register of an English horn. In addition, against the 
dissonant chords Stravinsky begins setting short, crisp fragments of melodies. We may pick out three (d, e, and ff @ — 

@®), presented in turn by the bassoons, horns, and trumpet. 

Against the throbbing backdrop of the chords, these fragments stand out as tonal reference points. They sound like folk 
songs that are just starting to take shape in a world of primitive harmonies. Additional instruments join in as the dance gains 
momentum. There is no definite break to mark the conclusion of the dance. Instead, the music eventually spills over into the 
next dance, the “Game of Abduction,” which surges forward in an animated Presto tempo, also driven by a relentless 
rhythmic power. 


>) LISTENING MAP 5 6 


IGOR STRAVINSKY, The Rite of Spring, “Introduction” and “Augurs of Spring: Dance of the Adolescents” 


{1913} 


AUDIO: The Rite of Spring 


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Various, frequently shifting 


Orchestra (two piccolos, two flutes, one alto flute, three oboes, one English horn, four clarinets, one 
bass clarinet, three bassoons, two contrabassoons, eight French hors, one piccolo trumpet, four 
trumpets, three trombones, two tubas, timpani, cymbals, and strings) 


The “Introduction” depicts the germinating of spring that spills over into the energetic “Augurs of 
Spring: Dance of the Adolescents.” Both sections are freely formed and yet clearly structured. In 
the “Introduction” the opening high bassoon solo recurs periodically as a type of refrain. In the 
“Augurs of Spring: Dance of the Adolescents,” Stravinsky derives his material from a pulsating 
chord, simply repeated for extended stretches in ever changing patterns of accents. Against these 
chords Stravinsky introduces various motives that sound like the beginnings of folk songs. 





<&) why to LISTEN 


Music that provokes a scandal usually arouses our curiosity to listen, even if the scandal occurred more than a hundred years 
ago. There were many aspects of the premiere of The Rite of Spring in 1913 that shocked Parisians, but among the most 
conspicuous was Stravinsky’s bold, new, and for many, violent approach to rhythm and meter. By changing the meter so 
frequently, Stravinsky essentially demolished a long-standing convention of Western music. In the noisy stretch of the score 
known as the “Augurs of Spring: Dance of the Adolescents” Stravinsky began with a crunching, dissonant chord. Then, by 
simply repeating it in unpredictable groups of beats, he filled out the pages of the section. Instead of giving us a theme, and 
then developing it, Stravinsky began by giving us only rhythm. In doing so he seemed to suggest that in the beginning was 
rhythm, the beating of life. His music forced listeners to concentrate on this facet of the musical experience, and to rethink 
how we perceive rhythm. The means were simple, but the result profound. 


( )Jirst LISTEN 


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«€-) «deeper LISTEN 





TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 
0:00 Based on a, bassoon solo 
@ a theme 
Bassoon 
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1:00 Free counterpoint in woodwinds, increasing in complexity 
1:59 Pause 
3:00 Return of a in bassoon 
3:14 Transition figure in strings (5) @) 
Jdddddaa 
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3:37 Irregular, dissonant chords (c) (3) 





Horns Horns 
> 





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4:24 d in bassoons against c 
@)d theme 


Bassoon 





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4:58 Pause 


5:19 


e in French horn against b 
@ ¢ theme 


Horn 





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5:56 fin trumpets against b 


@/ theme 


Trumpet 





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e in flute against b, several repetitions, with buildup of full orchestra; spills 
over into “Game of Abduction” at 6:57 


6:21 








Stravinsky playing The Rite of Spring, as depicted in a sketch by Jean Cocteau. Cocteau was a French poet and filmmaker who attended the 
famous opening night performance of this work. 


41.3 Arnold Schoenberg 


Of all the modernist composers, Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) posed the greatest challenges to critics and audiences 
alike. Still, his influence was deep. Schoenberg lived and worked primarily in Vienna and Berlin until 1933, when he 
emigrated to the United States to escape persecution by the Nazis. His early tonal compositions were in the late Romantic 
style that drew on Wagner’s musical language. They culminated in Gurrelieder (Songs of Gurre, composed in 1903 but not 
premiered until 1913), a large-scale cantata for orchestra, soloists, several choruses, and narrator—hundreds of musicians in 
total. The cantata’s text was based on a Danish legend about the medieval King Waldemar, his mistress Tove, and his jealous 
queen Helvig. 





Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951). This portrait was painted by Richard Gerstl, a Viennese artist who helped Schoenberg with his own 
paintings. 


Early in his modernist phase Schoenberg was pushing beyond Wagner’s style to explore new possibilities. In 
increasingly adventurous compositions such as the Chamber Symphony Op. 9 (1906), Schoenberg experimented with 
whole-tone scales and novel harmonies built upon the interval of the fourth. 

In 1908, the composer broke decisively with tonality. The work that took this fateful step was the Second String Quartet, 
Op. 10. It began with key signatures and recognizable, if weakened, tonal features. But in the finale, Schoenberg added a 
soprano solo that prophetically begins, “I feel the air of another planet.” Here, Schoenberg finally freed himself totally from 
the use of triads. 

In his revolutionary new music, which he described as pantonality, Schoenberg generally avoided repeating pitches, 
preferring instead to choose freely from the twelve pitches of the chromatic scale (see Chapter 40). Schoenberg was 
convinced that pantonality—or atonality, as it became known—was the logical successor to the outworn system of tonality. 
He regarded his music as an inevitable historical development, and he took great pains to relate it to the work of earlier 
composers such as Wagner and Brahms. Although on first hearing Schoenberg’s music seems worlds removed from the late 
nineteenth century, the links are there, even if obscured in the thick textures of atonal melodies and harmonies. For example, 
Schoenberg developed his themes in much the same way as Wagner or Brahms had. The difference was that Schoenberg’s 
themes now lacked clear harmonic reference points. Moreover, Schoenberg continued to cultivate the traditional forms 
favored by Brahms: sonata form, the rondo, and theme and variations, for example. Despite his radical new treatment of 
pitch, Schoenberg was unwilling to break completely from the traditions of German music. 


Schoenberg’s embrace of atonality corresponded roughly to the expressionist movement in German art, which used 
exaggeration to depict extreme, subjective emotions. An associate and friend of the Russian expressionist painter Wassily 
Kandinsky, Schoenberg himself painted brightly colored expressionist canvases, including some telling self-portraits. Like 
Kandinsky, he was fascinated with interplays between sound and color. Just as the expressionist painters distorted and 
ultimately abandoned realistic images, so Schoenberg distorted and ultimately rejected tonality. 

Expressionism’s emphasis on expression connects it with German Romanticism. Similarly, Schoenberg’s provocative 
and highly emotional atonal works could also be traced to the Romantics. But the subjects of Schoenberg’s expressive urges 
were uncompromisingly new: the psychological world of hidden, tormented feelings and the dark underside of the artist’s 
subconscious. Erwartung (Expectation, 1909), a monodrama for soloist and orchestra, is about the hallucinations of a 
betrayed lover. The expressionist song cycle Das Buch der hdngenden Garten (The Book of the Hanging Gardens, 1909) is 
rich in sexual imagery and Freudian associations. 


MAKING CONNECTIONS Wassily Kandinsky and German Expressionism 





A pioneer of modern art who was influenced by Schoenberg’s atonal music was the Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky 
(1866-1944). Evidence suggests that Kandinsky experienced synesthesia, a rare condition in which one sense triggers a 
reaction in another sense (colors can stimulate sounds, or sounds can stimulate tastes, for instance). In Kandinsky’s 
case, color and sound were inseparable. While listening to one of Wagner’s music dramas, and later to Schoenberg’s 
atonal music, he reported seeing an entire range of colors. 





Kandinsky, /mprovisation No. 30 (Canons), 1913. 


Kandinsky worked principally in Germany, then moved to France, where he died during the Second World War. 
While in Germany in 1910, he began painting abstract watercolors, replacing realistic images with dabs of color and 
shapes, a watershed moment in the history of art. Like Schoenberg, Kandinsky was drawn to expressionism: the painter 
believed that colors could evoke deep psychological responses from the viewer, capturing a powerful and complex 
interior world. Painting, according to Kandinsky, should be abstract, like music. Not surprisingly, he titled his canvases 
using musical terms, such as Composition, Improvisation, or Fugue. 


SCHOENBERG, PIERROT LUNATRE, “VALSE DE CHOPIN” (1912) 


One of the most impressive—and difficult—works from Schoenberg’s atonal period is the song cycle Pierrot lunaire (The 
Moonstruck Pierrot). It uses for its text symbolist poetry by the Belgian Albert Giraud. Composed and performed in 1912 
(after some forty rehearsals), the work is scored for a soprano and a small chamber ensemble of five musicians who play 
eight instruments: piano, flute/piccolo, clarinet/bass clarinet, violin/viola, and cello. 





Little Pierrot, by French expressionist Georges Rouault, ca. 1937. The tragic figure of the “sad clown” was a favorite among the expressionist 
painters and writers. 


Schoenberg scored each song for soprano and a different ensemble of instruments. The soprano does not sing in the 
conventional sense but, rather, uses a technique known as Sprechstimme (“speaking voice’’), located somewhere between 
speaking and singing. Sprechstimme became a powerful technique in Schoenberg’s battery of expressionist devices. It 
embraces musical distortion: it has accurately notated rhythms, but is performed with uneven inflections in pitch. 

The subject of Schoenberg’s song cycle is Pierrot, the stock “sad clown” character of pantomime. A moonstruck Pierrot 
is unmasked as a rejected, terror-stricken creature. The chamber ensemble weaves an intricate web of atonal sound around 
the poetry, which contains a series of shocking images. The twenty-one poems are loosely arranged in three groups of seven 
each. Schoenberg set them to miniature movements that generally last only a few minutes. Each poem consists of thirteen 
lines divided into four, four, and five lines, with refrain-like repetitions of lines from the first four. 

The poem set in the fifth song, “Valse de Chopin,” compares a melancholy waltz of the Polish composer to the 
bloodstained lips of an invalid. Chopin’s waltz is not identified, and there is no waltz melody clearly recognizable in 
Schoenberg’s music. Rather, the song is a freely composed atonal setting that suggests a grossly distorted version of a waltz. 
For the text and translation, see Listening Map 57. 

This macabre movement is scored for flute, clarinet, soprano, and piano. For the third stanza, Schoenberg replaces the 
clarinet with the bass clarinet, whose lower range effectively distorts the original timbre of the ensemble, and turns Chopin’s 
waltz into a “melancholy, dark waltz.” The music, in the triple time of a waltz, begins with what sounds like a piano 
accompaniment to a clarinet line, in effect, an atonal waltz melody. In the poem, “chords of wild lust” interrupt the waltz; in 
the music, the melody and accompaniment give way to irregular piano chords. The stanzas are separated by instrumental 
interludes, and framed by a prelude and a postlude in which the piano accompaniment fades as the somber waltz dies away. 


>) LISTENING MAP 5 Vi 


ARNOLD SCHOENBERG, Pierrot lunaire, No. 5, “Valse de Chopin” 
{1912} 


AUDIO: Pierrot lunaire 


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3(slow waltz) 


Chamber ensemble (flute, clarinet/bass clarinet, soprano, and piano) 


Schoenberg divides the text of thirteen lines into three parts of four, four, and five lines. These parts 
are framed by an instrumental introduction and postlude, and separated by brief instrumental 
interludes. Throughout, the use of Sprechstimme in the vocal part plays off against shifting colors of 
the instruments in the chamber ensemble. 





@) why to LISTEN 


One hundred years and counting after the premiere, Pierrot lunaire continues to perplex listeners, if not with its atonal layers 
of sound, certainly with its use of Sprechstimme and kaleidoscopic juxtapositions of different instrumental timbres. 
Stravinsky—who admired Schoenberg’s composition—focused in the Rite of Spring on rhythm; on the other hand, 
Schoenberg focused in Pierrot lunaire on the very quality of sound, by exchanging bits of material between the soprano and 
changing combinations of instruments. In Schoenberg’s hands, these instruments could project different mixtures of colors. 
The soprano went even further, distorting her musical lines so that they became lodged somewhere between traditional 
singing and everyday speech. Perhaps, then, Schoenberg’s score, certainly avant-garde for 1912, is not as unfamiliar as it 
might at first seem. It repays listening, as speech-like words become music, and music approaches speech. 


( ) first LISTEN 


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(—-) 2 deeper LISTEN 


TIME SECTION TEXT/INSTRUMENTATION 
0:00 
0:06 


(piano, clarinet, and flute) 


Wie ein blasser Tropfen Bluts 
farbt die Lippen einer Kranken, 
also ruht auf diesen Tonen 

ein vernichtungssticht’ger Reiz. 





0:19 
0:22 


(chords in piano) 


Wilder Lust Akkorde stéren 

der Verzweiflung eisgen Traum. 
Wie ein blasser Tropfen Bluts 
farbt die Lippen einer Kranken 


0:34 


0:40 (clarinet changes to bass clarinet) 

Heiss und jauchzend, stiss und schmachtend 
melancholisch diistrer Walzer, 

kommst mir nimmer aus den Sinnen! 
Haftest mir an den Gedanken, 


wie ein blasser Tropfen Bluts! 





1:00 (piano) 


TRANSLATION 


Like a faint drop of blood 
coloring the lips of an invalid, 
there rests in these tones 

a charm in search of negation. 


Chords of wild lust disturb 

the icy dreams of despair. 

Like a faint drop of blood 
coloring the lips of an invalid. 


Hot and rejoicing, sweet and pining, 
melancholy, dark waltz. 

You never leave my senses! 

You seize my thoughts 

like a faint drop of blood. 


41.4 Alban Berg and Anton von Webern 


Among Schoenberg’s disciples were two students who followed his lead in exploring the new terrain of free atonality and 
twelve-tone music. Considerably less prolific than Schoenberg, Alban Berg (1885-1935) composed slowly and carefully. 
His principal works include two expressionist masterpieces, the operas Wozzeck (1923) and Lulu (left unfinished, its third act 
was not premiered until 1979). Berg also produced chamber works, a violin concerto, orchestral pieces, and songs. Although 
most of his music is atonal, it does not exhibit Schoenberg’s uncompromisingly dissonant style. Rather, it features flowing 
melodies and lush harmonies, and even carries some fleeting touches of tonality. 

Anton von Webern (1883-1945), Schoenberg’s other celebrated disciple, was a serious student of the history of music. 
Many find his music overly intellectual and difficult to listen to and understand. Nonetheless, Webern took great pains, like 
his teacher, to justify the revolutionary character of his music by linking it to previous historical periods. 





Alban Berg (1885-1935) and Anton von Webern (1883-1945). 


Webern crafted miniature instrumental and vocal compositions out of a minimum of notes, a few fragile moments of 
sound that seem imposed on silence. Schoenberg and Berg rarely worked within these severe limitations, preferring instead 
to create on larger scales. Webern labored intensively over individual pitches, carefully coordinating their individual 
rhythms, dynamics, articulations, and contours. On first hearing, his scores may sound like isolated points of sound in no 
particular order. Only after repeated hearings do patterns begin to emerge. Without question, Webern’s music is intricate, but 
perhaps no more so than the music of J. S. Bach. And, despite its rigor, Webern’s music is filled with feeling. He gave 
detailed performance instructions in his scores, all directed to expressive ends. Not one note is wasted. 

In his later years, Webern developed an increasingly abstract style. His life ended tragically in 1945, when shortly after 
the Second World War officially ended, he was shot outside his home by a soldier occupying his Austrian town. Only in the 
1950s was Webern’s significance fully realized, as a generation of younger composers began emulating his discipline and 
exquisite control. They were joined by the aging Stravinsky, who diligently studied Webern’s twelve-tone works and 
compared them to elegantly cut diamonds. 


check your KNOWLEDGE 41 


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41.1 


41.2 
41.3 
41.4 


FL 


Chapter 41 Quiz 


CHAPTER 


Neoclassicism 


In their zeal to break with the nineteenth century, Debussy, Stravinsky, and Schoenberg composed music that seemed 
brazenly new and modern, with no connection to the past. But there was a second option that some composers began to 
explore: neoclassicism. It involved revisiting the music of earlier periods before the nineteenth century, especially the 
Classical and Baroque periods, and reusing elements of their styles in modernist contexts. 

These composers drew on the music of the pre-Romantic past to reinvigorate twentieth-century music. In 1909 Maurice 
Ravel wrote a minuet to suggest the style of Haydn, 100 years after his death. Richard Strauss, abandoning the dissonant 
tone of his operas Salome and Elektra, invoked Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro in the delightfully elegant opera Der 
Rosenkavalier (1911). Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos explored similarities between the music of J. S. Bach and 
Brazilian folk music in a series of pieces titled Bachianas brasileiras (1930-1945). 





Costume for a character in Richard Strauss’s neoclassical opera Der Rosenkavalier (1911). 


The scope of neoclassicism was broad. Composers revived forms of counterpoint such as fugue and canon. They 
rediscovered baroque genres such as the suite, concerto, and oratorio, and redeployed standard classical forms such as the 
sonata form, minuet, and rondo (see Chapter 30). They wrote for intimate chamber ensembles, shunning the sprawling 
orchestral scores of the late nineteenth century. Stravinsky suggested that nineteenth-century composers had “overfed” their 
audiences with orchestral music that was too rich. The neoclassicists did not return wholeheartedly to using traditional 
tonality, however; their harmonies remained modern. 


42.1 Sergei Prokofiev 


After Stravinsky, the most significant new Russian composer was Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953). He attended the St. 
Petersburg Conservatory before establishing himself as a concert pianist and writing several ballet scores for Diaghilev’s 
company. When he was not touring as a pianist or composing, Prokofiev pursued his favorite hobby, chess, and became so 
skilled that he won a game from a chess master who had held the world title for several years during the 1920s. For many 
years, Prokofiev worked in the West, but unlike Stravinsky, who eventually settled in the United States, Prokofiev returned 
to Russia in 1936. There, during the Stalinist era, the composer was criticized for what the state authorities viewed as 
unacceptable “modernisms” in his music. 





Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953). 


Prokofiev’s style offers a mixture of percussive rhythmic effects and lyrical melodies with wide leaps. A versatile 
composer, he wrote operas, ballets, symphonies, concertos, chamber works, piano music, film scores, and a charming 
children’s tale for narrator and orchestra, Peter and the Wolf (1936). Because Prokofiev worked in “old-school” Western 
genres, Stalinist critics warned that he should produce more patriotic music promoting the Russian motherland and its 
socialist revolution. Socialist realism, the dominant doctrine of the arts in the Soviet Union, required that music be 
accessible to the common worker and serve the state. Among Prokofiev’s works that did win official approval was the Fifth 
Symphony, premiered by the composer early in 1945, in the closing months of the Second World War, as the Soviet Army 
was advancing through Poland during its final push to Berlin. The warm lyricism and singable melodic lines of the 
symphony were embraced, and Prokofiev’s statement that the work was a “hymn to free and happy Man” was taken as an 
endorsement of socialist realism. But the authorities refused to mount his opera War and Peace (1943), based on Tolstoy’s 
epic novel. Its premiere had to wait until after the composer’s death, which, ironically, occurred on March 5, 1953, the same 
day the Russian dictator Stalin died. 


MAKING CONNECTIONS Music in the Soviet Union 





In 1917 Nicholas H, last of the Romanov tsars who had ruled Russia for centuries, abdicated after the outbreak of the 
Russian Revolution. Vladimir Lenin, leader of the Russian Marxist Party known as the Bolsheviks (Russian for “the 
majority”), then seized power. In 1922 he announced the formation of the Soviet Union, dedicated to removing traces 
of capitalism in Russia and advancing a workers’ state. After Lenin’s death in 1924, a member of his circle, Joseph 
Stalin, consolidated power, took control of the party, now renamed the Communist Party, and ruled the Soviet Union 
until his death in 1953. Stalin conducted ruthless purges of his enemies, real and perceived, instituted ambitious plans 
to transform the Soviet Union from an agrarian to industrial economy, and led the country through the Second World 
Wat. 

These decades were an equally turbulent time for the arts. Although there was an initial flourishing of several 
avant-garde movements, the state began to restrict artistic expression. In music, the young Prokofiev composed several 
steely, modernist scores, including a ballet for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes intended to depict the modern 
industrialization of the Soviet Union. But when Prokofiev returned for good to his homeland in 1936, he found that the 
climate in the arts had changed. Two years before, Stalin had decreed that Soviet art must adhere to the ideals 
of socialist realism, meaning that it had to depict and glorify everyday scenes of the people, and promote the aims of 


the state. A composers’ union was established to set further policies for Soviet music. Any composition deemed too 
complex, modernist, or abstract was denounced as bourgeois, decadent, and Western. Tuneful melodies, clear 
harmonies, and subjects that were little more than propaganda for the Soviet state were now required. More than once 
Prokofiev’s music was rejected or censored as too Western and anti-Soviet, and in 1948 he had to write a public letter 
disavowing his earlier works. 





Russian dictator Joseph Stalin (1878-1953) ca. 1935. 


Although Prokofiev never allied himself with any particular style of composition, strong neoclassical tendencies can be 
heard in his music. In fact, he called his First Symphony the “Classical.” This exuberant early work of 1917, the year of the 
Russian Revolution, suggests how Haydn might have composed in the twentieth century. The result is a delightful 
translation of the eighteenth-century classical style into a modern musical language. 


PROKOFIEV, SYMPHONY NO. 1 IN D MAJOR (“CLASSICAL”) (1917) 


Prokofiev scored his Symphony No. | for a classical orchestra, with double woodwinds, two horns, two trumpets, timpani, 
and strings. The symphony is in four movements and has key signatures. The first movement (see Listening Map 58) is in 
sonata form as is the fourth. The second, slow movement is in ABAform; and the third, curiously, offers a Baroque dance 
known as a gavotte instead of a minuet. 

Prokofiev begins with a rousing triadic ascent in D major, a stock figure used by Haydn and other Classical symphonists 
(a; @). The scurrying first theme that follows is played by the strings. A flute then introduces the bridge subject (6; @ 
), which begins to modulate from the tonic to the dominant key. Following the Classical tradition, the contrasting second 
theme (c; (@)) enters in the dominant key. 

Prokofiev places the second theme in the high register of the violins, with a simple staccato accompaniment in the 
bassoon. Distinctly modern departures from Haydn’s style are the gaping leaps in the melody and the “incorrect” harmonies 
of the accompaniment, a humorous parody of the Classical style. Prokofiev sustains this infectious melody and its jolting 
leaps through three statements. For the closing section of the exposition, he takes up the opening material and ends with 
sweeping descending scales and a strong cadence on the dominant. Again departing from Haydn’s practice, he does not 
repeat the exposition. 

A bar of rest allows us to catch our breath before the development begins. First, we hear a in the minor tonic and 
then } in a range of different keys. Next, the composer energetically exchanges c between the violins and the bass. Finally, 
the music approaches what promises to be the recapitulation. Prokofiev does indeed bring back the opening material, but in 
the wrong key. This deliberate “error” is a device known as a false recapitulation. As Prokofiev knew, Haydn himself had 
sometimes used it in his symphonies to confuse his unsuspecting listeners. After returning the music to the real tonic, 
Prokofiev continues the recapitulation according to the traditional plan. The result is a witty rediscovery of classical sonata 
form, filtered through a twentieth-century Russian’s sensibility. 


>) LISTENING MAP 5 S 


SERGEI PROKOFIEV, “Classical” Symphony, First Movement 


{1917} 


AUDIO: “Classical” Symphony, First Movement 


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%, Allegro 


Orchestra (two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, two trumpets, two horns, timpani, 
and strings) 


Prokofiev produced an entertaining movement that adheres fairly closely to Classical sonata form, 
with an exposition based on two contrasting themes in the tonic and dominant, a development, and 
a recapitulation. Nevertheless, occasional licenses in the harmonies and wide leaps in the melodic 
lines betray the twentieth-century features of the music, resulting in an engaging example of 
neoclassicism. 





() why to LISTEN 


There are two principal reasons to listen to Prokofiev’s “Classical” Symphony. One is its playful sense of time travel, as a 
twentieth-century composer tries to revive elements of the eighteenth-century Classical style. A second reason is the cross- 
cultural perspective of a Russian composer imitating and wittily parodying an Austro-Germanic style of writing. (Recall that 
Haydn’s music was also filled with wit and humor.) As you listen to the symphony, can you identify which features sound 
like Haydn and which sound like Prokofiev? Does the viewpoint of a twentieth-century modernist Russian composer add to 
our enjoyment of Haydn’s music? And, in turn, does Haydn’s style put in bolder relief modernisms in Prokofiev’s score? As 
a neoclassical work, Prokofiev’s symphony is intended to square tradition with innovation—to remind listeners of the grand 
history of the genre as well as to suggest, perhaps, where the genre might still lead. 


( ) first LISTEN 


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«—-) «deeper LISTEN 











TIME SECTION LISTEN FOR THIS 
0:00 @ Rousing, ff ascent leading to first theme in the tonic (a) in the strings 
Allegro : 
rising triadic figure aS 

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0:23 @ Bridge subject in the flute (5) 

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0:57 (3) Quiet second theme in the dominant (c) with gaping leaps in the violins 





pp elegantly = = re ae 


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1:31 
1:44 
1:46 
1:57 
2:15 
2:53 
3:03 
3:27 
3:54 





Rousing closing section in the dominant 

One bar of rest 

a in the minor 

b led through a variety of keys 

c exchanged between the violins and bass 

First theme (a) appears in the “wrong key” (false recapitulation) 
Bridge (5) 

Second theme (c) in correct, tonic key 


Rousing closing section in the tonic 


42.2 Stravinsky and Neoclassicism 


From the end of the First World War to about 1950, Igor Stravinsky explored neoclassicism in a brilliant series of 
compositions that substituted intimate chamber ensembles for the enormous orchestra of his Rite of Spring. This economy of 
resources is particularly evident in The Soldiers Tale (L’histoire du soldat, 1918), a “dramatic spectacle” that is performed 
by a narrator, small group of instruments, and actors and a dancer. 

Stravinsky’s other neoclassical works borrowed largely from eighteenth-century models. The Dumbarton Oaks Concerto 
for chamber orchestra (1938) was inspired by Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, and thus is neo-Baroque in spirit. The 
Symphony in C (1940) was indebted to the symphonies of Haydn, whom Stravinsky revered as a “celestial power.” Still 
other neoclassical works turned to classical mythology and antiquity. Among them were the ballet Orpheus (1948) and the 
opera-oratorio Oedipus Rex (1927), for which Stravinsky directed that the soloists appear on pedestals, to suggest the 
timelessness of Greek statues. 


STRAVINSKY, SYMPHONY OF PSALMS (1930) 


After the First World War, Stravinsky worked primarily in France and in 1934 became a French citizen. But new 
commissions led to American engagements. One was an invitation to write a work for the fiftieth anniversary of the Boston 
Symphony in 1930. The result was Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms in three movements, settings of verses from three 
psalms for chorus and orchestra. The orchestra consists of woodwind and brass sections, percussion (including harp and two 
pianos), and a reduced string section of cellos and double basses. Absent are the lush, Romantic sounds of violins and violas 
and the mellow colors of clarinets; instead, Stravinsky features the clear sonorities of the woodwind and brass. The psalm 
texts are stated in a way that recalls medieval chant (see Chapter 7). They are accompanied by compact, repeated orchestral 
figures. The work as a whole is intended as an impersonal, collective offering to God. 

For the three movements (performed without a break) Stravinsky selected verses from Psalms 39, 40, and 150. The 
second movement (“I waited patiently for the Lord”), is a testament of faith based upon the opening three verses of Psalm 40 
(see Listening Map 59). It is the most complex of the three parts. 

The movement is designed as a fugue, more precisely a special kind of fugue known as a double fugue, because it has 
two fugal subjects instead of one. Stravinsky begins with the oboes and flutes, which introduce the first fugal subject (a; 

@) in four alternating entries. Based on a compact motive of four notes, the subject is reinvented rhythmically through 
various repetitions. It then continues to sketch a descending angular line. 

Next, the chorus enters performing the second fugal subject (b; @), while portions of the first subject appear in the 
orchestra. The new subject begins with a descending skip followed by stepwise motion, but then leaps up on the word 
“Dominum” (“Lord”), written in the score in capital letters. Eventually, Stravinsky presents the second subject in tightly 
overlapping entries (stretto); then, he has the orchestra revive the first fugal subject. In the closing measures, he combines 
the two subjects, but brings the chorus to a soft, unison cadence on the same pitch. The symbolism is clear: the music charts 
a course from the depths of the “horrible pit” to the “new song” of praise, and of absolute trust in the Lord. 

In 1939, not long after the outbreak of the Second World War, Stravinsky left France for the United States and became 
an American citizen in 1945. As an international musical celebrity, he was well received, and eventually settled in 
Hollywood. He was invited to Harvard, where he delivered a series of lectures (in French) on music. They were published in 
English as his Poetics of Music (for an excerpt, see Making Connections on p. 425). But when he made an arrangement of 
“The Star Spangled Banner,” the authorities found that his retouching of the standard harmonies violated a statute 
prohibiting changes to the anthem, and the composer was let go with a warning. 


>) LISTENING MAP S) g 


IGOR STRAVINSKY, Symphony of Psalms, Second Movement (Psalm 40:1—3) 
{1930} 


AUDIO: Symphony of Psalms, Second Movement 


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Fugue, using two subjects 





Orchestra (one piccolo, four flutes, four oboes, one English horn, three bassoons, one 
contrabassoon, four French horns, one soprano trumpet, four trumpets, three trombones, one tuba, 
and strings) and chorus (sopranos, altos, tenors and basses) 


Stravinsky designed the movement as a double fugue, with the first fugal subject being introduced 
by the orchestra, before the chorus takes up the second subject. Then in the closing section, the two 
subjects are juxtaposed and combined. 





) why to LISTEN 


Symphony of Psalms is a masterpiece that explores the spiritual dimensions of music. Stravinsky himself was baptized in the 
Russian Orthodox faith, and he seems to have taken his faith quite seriously. He commented that in the Symphony of 
Psalms he intended not to write a symphony about the singing of psalms, but rather to bring the singing of psalms into the 
symphonic concert hall. That meant reducing references to late nineteenth-century music—the time period that gave rise to 
the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1880—and finding inspiration instead in other historical periods. In the case of the 
second movement, Stravinsky turned to the austere world of fugal counterpoint. This was perhaps a nod to the Baroque 
complexities of J. S. Bach, but also an acknowledgment of the centuries-old tradition of imitative polyphony stretching back 
to the Renaissance. Elsewhere in the work the choral writing is often chant-like, focusing on simple pitch repetitions or 
formulaic patterns that invoke a medieval sound world. There is, too, a ritualistic quality to this music, which invites us to 
participate anonymously in a communal statement of faith in God. 


( ) first LISTEN 


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«—-) 4 deeper LISTEN 



























TIME PART/DESCRIPTION LISTEN FOR THIS TEXT TRANSLATION 

0:00 @ Orchestra, beginning with four entries in 
oboe, flute, flute, and oboe( mf) 

Oboe a. 
2 mf ; a 
Ch BD CEB; DCE BD CEBiD 
L eal I! Wau 4 
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1:58 @) Chorus, beginning with four entries in 1. Expectans 1. I waited 
soprano, alto, tenor, and bass; references to expectavi patiently for the 
subject 1 in orchestra( mf) Dominum; Lord; 

et intendit mihi, and he inclined 
et exaudivit unto me, 
preces meas. and heard my 
cry. 
Soprana 
mf tranquil 
Ex = pec = fans ex=pec = la ~ vi DO-MI - NUM, — 
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2. Et eduxitme 2. He brought me 
de lacu up also 
miseriae, out of a horrible 
et de luto pit, 
faecis, out of the miry 
clay, 
3:41 Chorus in stretto (tight, overlapping entriesin ef statuit super and set my feet 


soprano, alto, tenor, and bass)(__P) petram pedes upon a rock, and 
meos: et 








direxit gressus established my 
meos. goings. 

4:26 Orchestra in stretto( FP) 

5:04 Bar of rest 

5:06 Subjects 1 and 2 Subject | in orchestra, subject 2 in chorus ( 3. Etimmistin 3. And he hath 

Sf’) os meum put a new song 

canticum in my mouth, 
novum, even praise unto 
carmen Deo our God: 
nostro: many shall see it, 
Videbunt multi, and fear: and 
videbunt et shall trust in the 
timebunt: et Lord. 
sperabunt in 
Domino. 

6:25 Unison cadence in chorus(  _P) 





MAKING CONNECTIONS Stravinsky as Lecturer 


In 1940 Stravinsky gave a series of lectures at Harvard University, later published as The Poetics of Music, on various 
musical topics, including the phenomenon of music, the acts of composition and performance, and the status of music 
in the Soviet Union. Reading between the lines of these lectures, Stravinsky’s core beliefs about music come through: 
music is a self-sufficient art that stands on its own. It didn’t need to imitate the external world or express ideas, let 
alone be confined to political propaganda, as it was in his homeland, Russia. 

The closing lines of Stravinsky’s last lecture offers a grand vision of what music could be: 


“Music,” says the Chinese sage Seu-ma-tsen in his memoirs, “is what unifies.” This bond of unity is never 
achieved without searching and hardship. But the need to create music must clear away all obstacles.... For the 
unity of the work has a resonance all its own. Its echo, caught by our soul, sounds nearer and nearer. Thus the 
consummated work spreads abroad to be communicated and finally flows back toward its source. The cycle, 
then, is closed. And that is how music comes to reveal itself as a form of communion with our fellow man—and 
with the Supreme Being. 


42.3 Béla Bartok 


The Hungarian composer Béla Bartok (1881-1945) combined a neoclassical approach with a long-running interest in the 
folk music of his country. Trained as a concert pianist, he was deeply influenced by the music of Liszt. Still, realizing that 
i Hungarian folk music, Bartok set out to research that music for himself. 

gary recording folk melodies on an Edison phonograph, and transcribing them 
ve; he also gathered Slovakian, Rumanian, and Turkish folk melodies, some six 
Jorthern Africa and adding another 200 more pieces to his collection. The use of 


lUUTS; ICrULULES (uervais sianer wan a half-step), and asymmetrical rhythms in this folk music provided inspiration for 
many of Bartok’s own compositions. 


An interval smaller than a half step. 


Bartok’s Bagatelle No. 6 


For many years, Bartok taught piano at the Budapest Royal Academy of Music, where he continued to compose and to 
research folk music. During the 1930s, alarmed by the rise of Nazism in Germany, he sent his music to England to be 
published, and in 1940 he emigrated to the United States, becoming, like Stravinsky, an American citizen in 1945. In poor 
health, Bartok struggled to earn his livelihood through giving concerts. He was awarded a research appointment at Columbia 
University, and began work on a collection of Yugoslav folk music. When he died in 1945, he left several planned 
compositions unrealized. 

Bartok’s principal contribution was in instrumental music. He wrote three concertos for piano and one each for violin 
and viola. Of the piano concertos, the first (1926) features dissonant clusters of chromatic pitches in irregular rhythmic 
groupings. The second (1931) contains an elaborate display of contrapuntal techniques. The third (1945), sketched in 
Asheville, North Carolina, is a contemplative work written in the last year of Bartok’s life. One other concerto deserves 
special mention: the Concerto for Orchestra (1943) extends the idea of virtuoso display to the entire orchestra and has 
become a classic of the modern orchestral repertoire. 

Bartok’s instrumental music includes many compositions for piano solo, among them the Allegro barbaro (1911), filled 
with percussive rhythms that look ahead to the Rite of Spring; a Sonata for piano (1926); and Mikrokosmos, a six-volume 
collection of short pieces of increasing difficulty. His six string quartets (1908-1939) are among the finest quartets written in 
the twentieth century; no less successful are the Sonata for Two Pianos and Two Percussionists (1937) and the Music for 
String Instruments, Percussion and Celesta (1936; see Listening Map 60). 

Bartok neither fully accepted Schoenberg’s atonality nor fully rejected traditional tonality. Rather, his music celebrated 
the inflections of folk music and incorporated distinctly new approaches to the problem of tonal organization. In works still 
using triadic harmonies, Bartdk typically supplemented the tonics and dominants of nineteenth-century music with his own 
harmonies. In works not based on triadic harmonies, he suggested tonal centers by repeating individual pitches or clusters of 
pitches. Despite his innovative approaches to harmony, however, the composer often relied on traditional forms for his 
compositions, as did other neoclassic composers. 


BARTOK, MUSIC FOR STRING INSTRUMENTS, PERCUSSION AND CELESTA (1936) 


Bartok conceived this four-movement neoclassic work for a small-sized chamber orchestra. It consists of two five-part string 
groups complemented by drums, cymbals, timpani, harp, piano, celesta (a small keyboard instrument in which hammers 
strike metal plates to produce tinkling sounds), and xylophone (a percussion instrument with a series of wooden bars struck 
by wooden mallets). In his own seating arrangement for this ensemble, Bartok suggests positioning the strings on the two 
sides of the stage, with the double basses at the back and percussion between the two string groups. 

Despite the unusual scoring—there are no woodwinds or brass—Bartok extracts a wealth of special effects. For 
example, the string players perform with and without mutes, produce high-pitched harmonics by lightly touching and 
bowing the strings, and in one passage strike the strings with the wood of their bows (col legno). Finally, they occasionally 
use pizzicato, including a special type in which the strings are snapped sharply against the fingerboard to create striking 
percussive effects. 

Bartok uses the percussion instruments sparingly in the first movement, introducing a few one at a time. Only in later 
movements do they appear in various combinations. One special effect is the glissando, or slide, heard at various times in the 


niann_harn_ and timnani (where it wieldc a kind af hallaw thudding caund\ Fram time ta time the delicate calare af the 


celesta provide a soft metallic backdrop to the orchestra. 


i 





Béla Bartok (1881-1945) recording folk songs during fig travels in Romania. 


Of the four movements, the first is a fugue, the second is in sonata form, and the third and fourth are rondos. Listening 
Map 60 lays out the plan of the third movement, a symmetrical five-part rondo in the form ABCBA. Separating its parts are 
four repetitions of the fugal subject from the first movement. Further reinforcing the symmetry of the movement is an eerie 
xylophone solo that frames the movement. It plays the same rhythms forward and backward, so that, like the rondo form, it 
describes a palindrome (a sequence that occurs in the same order forward and backward). 

Of the five main sections of the movement, section A is based on a mournful figure in the strings (a; | @). Probably 
inspired by Hungarian folk music, it features a snap-like rhythmic pattern. In section B ( @), the celesta and two solo 
violins take up a new theme to the accompaniment of crisp piano chords, and string glissandos and clusters of trills. 
Section C features fragments of the fugal subject in the strings, performed pianissimo and with each pitch repeated rapidly. 
They are accompanied by rapid glissandos in the piano, harp, and celesta. The section works up to a climax for the full 
ensemble. Then, as the movement reverses itself, Bartok brings back the B and A sections, with the material restated and 
compressed. The movement ends as it began, with the solitary xylophone solo. 

It would be difficult to mistake the innovative qualities of Bartdk’s score, or to ignore the provocative edges of his 
music. And yet, Bartok allied his highly individual, modernist bent with a concern for formal balance and proportion, and a 
fascination with musical symmetry, qualities that reveal his embrace of neoclassicism. 


MAKING CONNECTIONS Palindromes and Musical Symmetries 





We do not know the original purpose of palindromes (from the Greek for “running back again”), a sequences of things 
that occur in the same order forward and backward—for example, the letters in “Madam, I’m Adam.” Are they 
entertaining curiosities or something more serious? 

Many composers have been drawn to palindromes. The twelve-tone composer Anton von Webern (see p. 414) was 
so taken by a set of Latin palindromes called the “magic square” that he tried to set it to music. Webern was celebrated 
for being obsessed with musical symmetries and unity, but he was not alone. In the fourteenth century Guillaume de 
Machaut (see p. 72) composed a piece with a text that gave away its structure: “Ma fin est mon commencement” (“My 
end is my beginning”’), in which the music literally reverses course midway. J. S. Bach indulged in similar musical 
palindromes. Mozart was credited with writing a piece that could be played by two violinists, with one musician 
reading the score upside-down and backward. Twentieth-century musicologist and composer Nicolas Slonimsky even 
wrote a piece called the “Mobius Striptease.” The score itself was written on a mobius strip—a piece of paper twisted 
and attached to itself—representing an unending surface and thus a melody that repeats itself forever. 


A an nth nw nner nn ne ee thn err n nentenan nnd we rtth ensign] aera ntetnn wera than Than wowitinn DAln Dat Ale Tlin asnsanitin wiernn 


A mee ewe VU seep Uwe Trae rr wasee ssw wes rr aees saaerawers 7 sesssswen awn 


the sense that the notes are carefully positioned in some overarching symmetry that governs the music. Bartok often 


favored the interval of the tritone, that is, the distance that divides the octave exactly in half, with six half steps on 
either side. 

He also favored forms that were symmetrical, for example an ABCBA rondo form. And he occasionally used strict 
palindromes, as in the opening of the third movement of the Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, where the 
xylophone solo is a literal rhythmic palindrome, collapsing in a few seconds the large-scale plan of the entire 
movement. 





Division of the octave into two tritones. 


>) LISTENING MAP 60 


BELA BARTOK, Music for String Instruments, Percussion and Celesta, Third 


Movement 
{1936} 


AUDIO: Music for String Instruments, Percussion and Celesta 


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